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Two men of Indian origin have been charged with visa fraud in the US Pi News


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Two men of Indian origin have been charged with visa fraud in the US

New York: Two Indian-origin men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on charges of carrying out armed robberies to commit visa fraud in the US state of Massachusetts.

Rambhai Patel, 36, and Balwinder Singh, 39, of New York, staged armed robberies in which the “victims” applied for thousands of dollars in immigration benefits.


The two were charged last week with one count of visa fraud, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

Patel was arrested in Seattle on December 13, 2023 and ordered held pending trial after appearing in the Western District of Washington.

Singh was also arrested later that day in Queens and made a preliminary appearance in the Eastern District of New York.

Beginning in March 2023, Patel and his associates, including Singh at times, organized and carried out armed robberies, according to the indictment.

These were carried out at eight convenience stores and fast-food restaurants across the US, including at least four in Massachusetts.

It is alleged that the purpose of the staged robberies was to allow the clerks present to claim that they were the victims of a violent crime when applying for U immigration status (U visa).

AU visas are available to victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and who have assisted law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

During the alleged staged robberies, the “robber” threatened store clerks and/or owners with a visible firearm, took cash from the register, and fled, while the store The surveillance video describes the interaction.

Clerks and/or owners wait five or more minutes for the “robber” to flee before calling the police to report the “crime.”

The “victims” allegedly paid Patel to participate in the scheme. In turn, Patel paid shop owners to use their shops for staged robberies.

One of the victims allegedly paid $20,000 to act as a victim in one of the staged armed robberies.

It is alleged that at least two of the alleged victim’s accomplices filed U Visa applications because they were victims of an organized armed robbery.

The visa fraud conspiracy charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.


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