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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Orchard Park Motel Owners Sentenced for Immigration Offenses


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Mahesh Ambu, 54, and his wife, Jyotiben Ambu, 53, both natives of Tanzania with British citizenship who currently reside in Orchard Park, NY, were sentenced by U.S.  District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford for their convictions on immigration charges.

Mahesh Ambu, who was convicted of unlawfully attempting to procure naturalization, was sentenced to time served and one year supervised release. Jyotiben Ambu, who was convicted of entering the United States by means of concealing a material fact, was also sentenced to time served.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants, who own and operate the Orchard Park Inn in Orchard Park, applied for naturalization in 2008. On their application, both defendants falsely claimed that they had never lied to immigration officers in the past to gain immigration benefits. Both defendants did in fact lie on their 2003 visa applications, claiming that they had not previously resided in the United States or been issued Social Security numbers.

An investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement determined that between 1995 and 2003, the defendants illegally resided in Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, and New York, prior to filling out their visa applications in 2003 and were issued Social Security numbers in 1996. In fact, the defendants purchased the Orchard Park Inn in 2001, prior to their visa applications. As a result of their pleas, both defendants are subject to possible removal proceedings by the Department of Homeland Security.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.
Updated November 19, 2014