New Jersey Man Sentenced To 16 Months’ Imprisonment For Passing Over $2,600 In Counterfeit Currency At Stores In Lackawanna, Lycoming, And Columbia Counties
WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Vinaykumar Patel, age 33, a citizen of the Republic of India, was convicted of multiple counts related to visa fraud and conspiracy following a three-day jury trial that concluded on December 6, 2023.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Patel was the manager of the Fuel-On convenience store in Lock Haven, PA. In June 2019, Patel contacted an associate of his in New Jersey and asked that person to hire someone to stage a robbery at the Fuel-On store. After the staged robbery occurred, it was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police. Patel then used the PSP reports of the robbery to apply for a U-visa. The U-visa is a special visa offered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to non-citizens who are victims of crime and who are cooperative with law enforcement. Patel had no lawful immigration status in the United States at the time of the staged robbery.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Geoffrey MacArthur and Alisan Martin prosecuted the case.
Patel faces a maximum penalty of 25 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
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