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Press Release

Haitian National Sentenced For Running Visa Fraud Scheme Involving More Than 100 Fraudulent Visa Applications

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announces the sentencing on December 12, 2019 of EMMANUEL PRIVA, age 39, a citizen of Haiti, for charges stemming from a visa fraud scheme. U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier sentenced PRIVA to 27 months in prison and ordered the forfeiture of PRIVA’s house, automobile, and funds seized from ten bank accounts.

According to court documents, from 2013 to 2018, PRIVA attempted to fraudulently obtain visas for more than 100 aliens, more than 40 of whom succeeded in obtaining visas to travel to the United States. PRIVA ran the scheme from his house in Harvey, Louisiana and other locations.  In exchange for money, PRIVA agreed to assist Haitian nationals in fraudulently obtaining visitor visas to travel to the United States. After receiving payment from Haitian nationals, PRIVA submitted online visa applications containing false information, created false documents to support the applications, and coached the aliens on how to deceive consular officers at interviews for the visas. The scheme was focused on making it appear that the Haitian nationals intended to temporarily visit, as opposed to illegally immigrate to, the United States.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service’s Criminal Fraud Investigations and Overseas Criminal Investigations Divisions in jointly investigating this matter, with support from its New Orleans Resident Office.  U.S. Attorney Strasser thanked the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate and the Haitian National Police’s Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (Central Directorate of the Judicial Police) for their assistance. Assistant United States Attorney Chandra Menon was in charge of the prosecution.

Updated December 13, 2019

Financial Fraud