U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
One year probation, a $3500.00 fine and no supervised release in a federal felony case.
We achieved probation and a fine for our client in federal court after he had faced possible multiple felony charges of money laundering, defrauding the federal government and false sworn statements relating to naturalization, citizenship or registry of aliens. The charges had possible maximum penalties well over 20 years in prison and over $1,000,000.00 in fines.
Our client never spent any time in prison and never spent any time in handcuffs or shackles. His case was not reported on television or in newspapers. And his case was concluded within six months from the filing date of the Criminal Information; we successfully avoided a federal Indictment.
The U.S. Department of Labor has a number of foreign labor programs. The programs enable employers to access foreign labor. They are designed to ensure that the admission into the country of alien workers does not adversely affect job opportunities, wages and working conditions of American workers. The employer must petition for a visa. If approved then the government issues an immigrant visa number to the foreign worker for entry into the country. This process is the sole responsibility of the employer, not of the employee. There are several applications, approvals and processes an employer seeking to hire a foreign worker within this program must complete.
In our client's case, the investigation was undertaken jointly by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Pennsylvania State Police. The investigation revealed that our client and other persons had engaged in visa fraud and money laundering by falsifying documentation required to obtain visas in that they established "shell" companies to give the appearance they were operating legitimate computer-programming businesses. Checks were issued from bank accounts held by the shell companies and were deposited into accounts in various fictitious company names. The transfers created an appearance of revenue which allowed the individuals to defraud the foreign-labor certification program in order to maintain the visas.
We began negotiating aggressively from the very onset and we saved our client's liberty with a sentence of probation. We were able to avoid the most serious charges by achieving agreement on the filing of a one-count Criminal Information regarding "aiding and abetting."
We often handle white-collar felony charges with discretion, and with success.