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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Twelve Defendants Plead Guilty to 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 that twelve defendants have entered guilty pleas admitting to U-Visa fraud and marriage fraud in two separate cases.

Three defendants have entered guilty pleas to conspiracy charges in both cases. Sachin Girishkumar Patel, 33, of Clinton, Mississippi; Tarunkumar Purushottambhai Patel, 49, of Kingdom City, Missouri; and Simpson Lloyd Goodman, 29, of Waynesboro, Georgia, admitted to their roles in conspiracies to commit U-Visa fraud and to commit marriage fraud. Sachin G. Patel and Tarunkumar Patel both admitted to conspiring to obtain fraudulent U-Visas for non-citizens and to obtain fraudulent marriage visas by arranging fraudulent marriages to U.S. citizens. Simpson Lloyd Goodman, a licensed attorney, admitted to drafting and submitting false applications and documents in an attempt to fraudulently obtain U-visas and marriage visas for otherwise ineligible individuals referred to him by Sachin G. Patel and Tarunkumar Patel.

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. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with the U-Visa applications. The forms fraudulently listed individuals as victims of certain crimes in Jackson, Mississippi in an effort to obtain U-Visas. 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. In this case, the forms fraudulently listed individuals as victims of certain crimes in an effort to obtain U-Visas.

The defendants admitted that they were not victims of crime in Jackson, Mississippi, and some of them admitted that they were not even in Jackson at the time that the alleged crimes occurred. Officer Ivory Lee Harris of the Jackson Police Department, admitted that he was paid in cash to prepare false police reports that were submitted in support of the fraudulent U-Visa applications.

The following defendants have entered guilty pleas in the U-Visa fraud case for their roles in committing fraud and misuse of U-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; and

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

Four other individuals charged in the U-Visa case are currently scheduled to go to trial in January.

In the 16 count marriage fraud indictment, it is alleged that the aliens would enter into marriages with 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 solely to obtain immigration status for the alien partner, and the U.S. citizens were paid to enter into these fraudulent marriages.

The following defendants have entered guilty pleas in the marriage fraud case 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

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

Javona Shanice Rajput, 27, of Jackson, Mississippi

Three other individuals charged in the marriage fraud indictment are currently scheduled to go to trial in January.

"We are committed to protecting our nation’s immigration system from all forms of fraud," said U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis. "The integrity of our nation’s immigration system will continue to be a priority of this office as we work together with our outstanding law enforcement partners at HSI and USCIS."

"It is an honor and privilege to become an American citizen", said Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. "Fraudulently obtaining citizenship compromises the integrity of our legal immigration system. We will continue to work with our state and federal partners to bring violators of our immigration laws to justice." Parmer is the Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans field office with responsibility for Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, 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; marriage fraud - 5 years in prison and $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.

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. Attorneys Jerry Rushing and Dave Fulcher.

As to those defendants who have not entered a guilty plea, 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 October 25, 2016