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Press Release

Brooklyn Man Who Submitted Over 1,800 Fraudulent Immigration Applications Indicted on Twelve Counts of Making False Statements in Immigration Documents

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

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that on July 18, 2019, a federal grand jury returned a 12-count indictment against Arleigh Louison, 53, of Brooklyn, New York, charging him with running an immigration fraud scheme that included the filing of false statements with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, including over 1,800 fraudulent applications for over 1,000 petitioners within the last four years. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) agents arrested Louison today in Brooklyn, New York, and executed a federal search warrant at his office. Louison will appear later today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Louison’s arraignment in the District of Vermont has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment charges that the false statements were made in connection with Form I-360 petitions for status adjustments under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In short, the indictment charges that Louison presented or caused the presentment of adjustment of status petitions containing false statements to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center in St. Albans, Vermont claiming that the petitioners were victims of abuse. The indictment also charges that these petitioners, who paid Louison for his services, did not discuss abuse with Louison, were not abused as described in the petitions, and did not authorize the statements made in the petitions Louison submitted to USCIS. The indictment also charges that Louison fabricated fee waiver petitions on behalf of these individuals without their knowledge.

Under VAWA, a person may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident if they are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by a U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse, a U.S. citizen parent, a U.S. citizen son or daughter, a lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse, or an LPR parent. An initial VAWA petition utilizing Form I-360 is often filed in conjunction with separate forms for work authorization (I-765 Employment Authorization Document “EAD card”) and permission to travel outside the United States (I-131 Application for a Travel Document). It is alleged that Louison submitted false information in the VAWA petitions so that the petitioners could secure EAD cards.

The charges against Louison are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

United States Attorney Christina E. Nolan commended the investigative efforts of agents of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.  She stated:  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners prioritize prosecution of large-scale, complex fraud in all its forms.  Profit-motivated immigration fraud is a serious offense, and we will treat it accordingly.  We thank our strong partners at DSS for consistently working so diligently with our prosecutors to hold white collar criminals accountable.” 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nikolas Kerest represents the United States. An attorney for Louison has not yet noticed an appearance in the District of Vermont. 

Updated July 23, 2019

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