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Press Release

Florida Man Convicted in Fraud Scheme Designed to Illegally Obtain Immigration Visas for Chinese Nationals

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama, announces that a jury has convicted David Jesus Jimenez of Davie, Florida for his role in an international fraud scheme designed to illegally obtain EB-1C visas for Chinese nationals.  Jimenez was convicted of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, as well as substantive money laundering.

The trial, which began on October 2, 2017, centered around the EB-1C visa program.  This legitimate immigration program allows for United States business owners who are in a qualified business relationship with a foreign company to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for a foreign multinational manager or executive to immigrate to the United States to manage the business.  This employment-based visa program is designed to help United States businesses attract top foreign talent to help run a joint business partnership together from the United States.  Upon obtaining an EB-1C visa, the foreign national is on the fastest tract to Legal Permanent Resident status, and ultimately, United States citizenship.

During trial, the jury heard testimony that certain Chinese nationals paid approximately $300,000.00 to the Chinese co-conspirators to participate in the fraud scheme.  Thereafter, Jimenez and others in the United States recruited business owners in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and elsewhere by explaining that they could earn $30,000.00 by “sponsoring” an immigration petition for a Chinese national.  The business owners then provided documentation about their companies to Jimenez and the other co-conspirators.  Thereafter, false, fraudulent, forged, and materially misleading documentation was created by the co-conspirators, all of which was designed to give the appearance that the United States business had a qualifying relationship with a Chinese company through a joint venture between the two businesses.  These documents were provided by Jimenez and his co-conspirators to attorneys who submitted the fraudulent material to USCIS.  However, neither the United States business owners nor the attorneys were aware that Jimenez was using them as part of an elaborate fraud scheme.  

To promote this international visa fraud scheme, Jimenez and his co-conspirators also engaged in an international money laundering scheme.  Evidence was presented showing how co-conspirators in China wired large sums of money from their Hong Kong bank accounts to domestic accounts controlled by Jimenez.  Thereafter, Jimenez used these foreign funds to further the visa fraud scheme by (1) paying the other United States-based co-conspirators, (2) paying the petitioning United States business owners, and (3) paying the attorneys who filed the fraudulent documents with USCIS.

Following a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for approximately four hours before finding Jimenez guilty of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and substantive money laundering.  Jimenez will be sentenced by Chief Judge Kristi DuBose on January 26, 2018. 

Prior to Jimenez’s trial, Fairhope resident Christopher Allen Dean pled guilty to a charge of conspiring to commit visa fraud in connection with this same scheme.  Dean was one of approximately 40 witnesses called by the United States during its case-in-chief. 

Following Jimenez’s convictions at trial, Richard W. Moore, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, explained, “Schemes of this nature are an assault on our immigration system that divert our federal investigative resources when we are forced to spend time and money unravelling these complicated criminal acts.  Our federal partners, Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS-Criminal Division worked tirelessly to ferret out the Defendant’s pattern of activity that could have gone undetected but for their excellent work.  Also, our prosecutors, First Assistant Donna Dobbins and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Bodnar, presented a compelling case to the jury and I am particularly pleased with how they represented the interests of the United States in this matter.”

This sentiment was echoed by Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans. SAC Parmer noted: “Immigration fraud presents a serious threat to the national security of our nation.   Illegal schemes like this not only undermine the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system, but they create potential security vulnerabilities while also cheating deserving immigrants of benefits they rightfully deserve.”   SAC Parmer oversees a five-state Area of Operation to include Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

In addition, James E. Dorsey, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS–Criminal Investigations Division, explained:  “This particular employment-based visa fraud scheme was a blatant attempt to undermine and defraud the United States Government.  IRS Criminal Investigations will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to conduct international financial investigations that exploit our government.”

This matter was jointly investigated by special agents assigned to the Mobile offices of the Department of Homeland Security–Homeland Security Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation Division, as well as fraud investigators in the Dallas Field Office of USCIS.  The case was prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Donna Dobbins and Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Bodnar.

Updated October 20, 2017