Bangladesh Citizen Sentenced to 14 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Stolen Firearm
Saipan, MP - SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that defendant ALEJANDRO TUMANDAO NARIO, age 65, a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines and a lawful permanent resident in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands to 21 months imprisonment for Fraud and Misuse of Visas (Visa Fraud), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546. The Court also ordered three years of supervised release, a $7,000.00 fine, and a $100.00 special assessment fee.
Alejandro T. Nario is the owner, president, and manager of A&A Enterprises, CNMI LLC, a manpower agency business in the CNMI. Since its incorporation in January 2019, A&A Enterprises facilitated an unlawful scheme to acquire CW-1 nonimmigrant visas for foreign citizens to enter and remain in the CNMI.
Nario and his staff submitted petitions to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for at least 99 known foreign citizens. The petitions included contracts of employment, specifying terms, hours, and wages to be paid. A&A Enterprises did not intend to employ these foreign citizens. The scheme was merely a mechanism to get them temporary immigration status. After paying $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 to A&A Enterprises for their CW-1 visas, once in the CNMI, these foreign workers would gain nondocumented jobs such as in construction, groundskeeping, and housekeeping, and then pay A&A Enterprises a fee of $194.00 every two weeks to keep their status.
The CW-1 visa program requires businesses petitioning for foreign workers to prove there is a demand for certain jobs and that those jobs for some reason cannot be filled by available United States citizens. The petitioning business must also pay the administrative fees and travel expenses for the foreign workers. But in this case, foreign workers were required to pay for these expenses and acquire their own jobs, while A&A Enterprises profited.
At the same hearing, a second defendant, ROSALEE BANGOT ABEJO, age 47, a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines residing in the CNMI, was sentenced to six months of home confinement and 36 months of probation for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. The Court also ordered 72 months of supervised release, 50 hours of community service, and a $100.00 special assessment fee.
During its investigation of A&A Enterprises, Homeland Security Investigations discovered Abejo was assisting the company by providing documents and other templates included with fraudulent visa petitions by A&A Enterprises. Abejo also relied upon staff at A&A Enterprises to electronically modify documents, which Abejo used to fraudulently submit CW-1 and CW-2 petitions for two friends, and her own husband.
“The CW-1 program continues to be abused by certain employers in the CNMI,” stated U.S. Attorney Anderson. “The public and the workers deserve a visa system that is free from fraud and waste. We will prosecute this unlawful conduct to hold employers accountable and to promote fairness among those seeking employment in the CNMI.”
"These business owners defrauded many people who believed they were coming to the CNMI for legitimate jobs," said John F. Tobon, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Honolulu. "HSI will continue to investigate these crimes vigorously to protect the integrity of our immigration system and those who are victimized by these con-artists.”
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Albert S. Flores Jr., Assistant United States Attorney for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Carmela S. Rapadas, Public Affairs Officer