Man with homes in California and Lacey, Washington pleads guilty to smuggling Indian Nationals across northern border
Seattle – A federal jury today convicted 38-year-old Harbans Singh, of Kent, Washington, of three federal felonies related to false statements he made on a visa application and during an asylum interview, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. The jury deliberated for about two hours following the two-day trial. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones scheduled sentencing for December 10, 2021.
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, Singh was arrested twice in November 2014 in the United Kingdom for three instances of sexually touching young girls while riding on a public bus. Just six days after his second arrest, Singh applied for a visa to travel to the U.S. On his visa application, he stated that he had never been arrested for a crime. Based on that false statement, Singh was granted a visa, and traveled to the United States in January 2015. Singh did not board his return flight to the U.K.
In July of 2015, Singh applied for asylum in the U.S. In his asylum application, Singh failed to disclose anything about the sexual assault charges in the United Kingdom. Then, in a September 2017 interview, Singh again denied, this time under oath, having ever been arrested or charged in the U.K.
While Singh was in the U.S., he was convicted in absentia in the U.K. of the crimes related to illegal touching of minors. He was sentenced, in absentia, to one year in prison.
Singh has been in immigration custody since his arrest in July of 2020.
The jury convicted Singh of False Statement on Immigration Document (Visa Application), Acceptance or Possession of Immigration Document Procured by Fraud, and False Statement – (Asylum Interview).
The charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Judge Jones will determine the appropriate sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) within the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also extends its gratitude to Sergeant Richard Lewington of the Essex Police Department, who arrested Singh in the U.K. in 2014 and traveled to the United States to testify at his trial.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William Dreher and Natalie Walton-Anderson.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.