Broward Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Immigration Fraud Scheme
A Coral Springs business owner pled guilty today to participating in a visa fraud immigration scheme by attempting to obtain visas with false information for individuals from overseas.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Jenny Hernandez, 51, of Parkland, pled guilty to a four count Information charging her with visa fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546(a) before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt (Case No. 19-601134-CR-ZLOCH). The defendant faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 10 years in prison on each count. The sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
According to the court record, including stipulated facts and statements made during hearings, Hernandez knowingly made false material statements in immigration documents, specifically Form I-140’s, Immigrant Petitions for Alien Workers. Hernandez owned and operated the Immigration Form Center, Inc. (IFC) in Coral Springs. The defendant stated in applications she filed with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) that individuals from overseas were to be employed at certain businesses as multinational executives or managers. However, these businesses never knew about these individuals and, furthermore, never made employement offers to them. Hernandez profited from these misrepresentations, by receiving between $14,200 to $50,900 from individual applicants. Hernandez also filed an application for an overseas individual to work at her bakery in Coral Springs, as a multinational executive or manager, when the individual was only selling jewelry inside the bakery. This individual paid $64,000 to the defendant.
All of these petitions were completed at IFC in Coral Springs and subsequently filed with USCIS. In addition to these documents, Hernandez filed additional documents accompanying the I-140 Petitions, including including I-485 applications to adjust for permanent residency in the United States. All of these payments were deposited into business checking accounts primarily controlled by the defendant.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of HSI in this matter. She thanked the members of USCIS for their assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.