Woman Charged in For-Profit Visa Fraud and Alien Smuggling Scheme
A Nevada woman was arrested today for her alleged role in a multi-year scheme to commit visa fraud and money laundering, and to illegally bring Chinese nationals into the United States for financial gain.
Haiyan Liao, 43, of Las Vegas, is charged in an indictment obtained in the Eastern District of New York and unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. She is charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to unlawfully bring aliens into the U.S. for financial gain, bringing aliens into the U.S. for financial gain, and money laundering conspiracy.
“The United States benefits from the rich diversity of culture and experience which results from lawful immigration into our country,” said David P. Burns, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This defendant, however, is charged with submitting false applications for visitor visas to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou and engaging in money laundering as part of a multi-year alien smuggling business that brought Chinese nationals into the United States illegally. This indictment underscores that those who seek to thwart our system of legal immigration to line their own pockets will be prosecuted.”
“As alleged in the indictment, Liao aided and abetted aliens who paid thousands of dollars for her fraudulent immigration services,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York. “The defendant provided fake documents and coached her accomplices regarding how to lie during visa interviews and customs checks. Our office and our law enforcement agency partners remain vigilant and committed to protecting the integrity of the immigration process and our border security and preventing criminals from seeking profit in the subversion of the rule of law.”
“The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is firmly committed to protecting the integrity of all U.S. visas and travel documents,” said Jeffrey A. Thomas, Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Investigations. “This case is the result of a strong partnership among federal law enforcement agencies and DSS’ global network of special agents working together to stop visa and passport crimes, and to stop criminals from earning illegal income by exploiting U.S. visas, passports, and foreign nationals.”
According to the indictment, Liao, with others, fraudulently obtained visitor visas by submitting applications containing false statements to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China as part of a scheme to assist aliens from China to enter the U.S. For the aliens whose applications were approved, Liao would facilitate the aliens’ travel to the U.S., including accompanying them on commercial flights to Queens and Brooklyn, New York. The aliens and their families paid thousands of dollars in exchange for the visitor visas and travel to the U.S. Liao’s co-defendant in the indictment, Ned Michael Moriearty, was recently deceased.
This case is being investigated by the DSS, Criminal Fraud Investigations Unit Branch.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Rami S. Badawy of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nomi Berenson of the Eastern District of New York.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.