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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Nineteen Defendants Charged with Marriage and Visa Immigration Fraud

 

Jackson, Miss – United States Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr., of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations - New Orleans Field Office, announced today the unsealing of two federal indictments charging multiple defendants with U-Visa fraud and marriage fraud.

In the 16 count U-Visa Fraud indictment, it is alleged that Law Enforcement Certification forms purporting to certify that aliens were victims of certain crimes, were submitted to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) along with the U-Visa applications. To be eligible for a U-Visa, the alien must have (1) been a victim of a certain crime; (2) suffered mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime; and (3) helped law enforcement officials in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime. The Law Enforcement Certification forms contain the description of the crimes. In this case, the forms fraudulently listed individuals as victims of certain crimes in an effort to obtain U-Visas.

The Indictment alleges that Simpson Lloyd Goodman, a licensed attorney, submitted fraudulent documents to USCIS for the purpose of obtaining U-Visas for other co-defendants. The false documents submitted to USCIS included falsified police reports allegedly prepared by Officer Ivory Lee Harris of the Jackson Police Department. Other defendants engaged in and caused various acts which enabled defendants to attempt to obtain U-Visas from USCIS.

The following defendants have been charged in the U-Visa fraud indictment for their roles in a conspiracy to commit fraud and misuse of Visa permits:

Sachin Girishkumar Patel, 33, of Clinton, Mississippi;

Tarunkumar Purushottambhai Patel, 49, of Kingdom City, Missouri;

Simpson Lloyd Goodman, 29, of Waynesboro, Georgia;

Ivory Lee Harris, 45, of Jackson, Mississippi;

Sanjay Rathilal Patel, 35, of Lakewood, New Jersey;

Maheshkumar Mangaldas Patel, 50, of Houston, Texas;

Ashaben Mukeshbhai Patel, 38, of Covington, Louisiana;

Rajan Nareshkumar Patel, 31, currently incarcerated in Adams County, Mississippi;

Gopaldas Khodabhai Patel, 55, of Byram, Mississippi;

Sachin Khodidas Patel, 27, of Byram, Mississippi; and

Baldevbhai Ramabhai Patel, 34, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In the 16 count marriage fraud indictment, it is alleged that the aliens would enter into marriages between persons who were already citizens of the United States solely for the purpose

of obtaining immigration status to which the aliens would not otherwise be entitled. These marriages were not entered into because of mutual love and affection between the parties, but solely to create a legal status that would provide a basis for immigration status for the alien partner and usually for some economic benefit to the United States citizen.

The following defendants have been charged in the marriage fraud indictment for their roles in a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud:

Sachin Girishkumar Patel, 33, of Clinton, Mississippi;

Tarunkumar Purushottambhai Patel, 49, of Kingdom City, Missouri;

Simpson Lloyd Goodman, 29, of Waynesboro, Georgia;

Chirag Nilesh Patel, 27, of St. Louis, Missouri;

Dana Cheetara Adams, 29, of Plano, Texas;

Brandy Nicole Edwards, 34, of Crystal Springs, Mississippi

Terilynn Rankin, 48, of Mendenhall, Mississippi

Sejal Sanjay Kakadia, 52, of Covington, Louisiana

Jayantibhai Kalidas Chaudhari, 47, of Covington, Louisiana

Virendra Rambachan Rajput, 45, of Lawrence, Massachusetts; and

Javona Shanice Rajput, 27, of Jackson, Mississippi

"The defendants allegedly circumvented the laws and submitted fraudulent documents that are critical to obtaining immigration status," said U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. "These arrests were made as a result of the great work of our law enforcement partners who stopped 19 people who sought to undermine the integrity of our nation’s immigration system."

"Immigration fraud poses a significant threat to national security by allowing individuals to enter or remain in the United States under false pretenses with unknown intentions," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans. "The alleged involvement of attorneys and law enforcement officers in this particular scheme is particularly troubling, and shows that HSI will investigate and hold accountable those who violate our nation’s laws regardless of their position in society." Parmer oversees a five-state area of operations to include Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.

The maximum penalties for the crimes charged in the indictments are: conspiracy to commit fraud and misuse of visa permits - 5 years in prison and $250,000 fine per count; fraud and misuse of Visa permits - 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count; mail fraud - 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count; and wire fraud – 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Arraignments on these indictments are scheduled for today, May 19, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson in Jackson.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Rushing.

The public is reminded that an indictment is a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 19, 2016