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4 unsealed cases charge person with bank fraud and identity theft, 6 individuals in labor and immigration scheme

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THE federal court has unsealed four separate cases involving a person accused of bank fraud and identity theft and six individuals charged with fraud in CW-1 petitions.

Brian Galang Lizama was brought before the District Court for the NMI on Friday for initial appearance. He is accused of impersonating his brother and making a series of withdrawals from his brother’s Bank of Guam account amounting to over $30,000.

Lizama is already detained at the CNMI Department of Corrections for his involvement in  a separate and different local case.

In March, Lizama was charged with burglary and theft, and appeared before CNMI Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo who imposed a $10,000 cash bail on the defendant.

Police said Lizama stole a $500 flat screen TV from Sunshine Garden Motel in Susupe.

In federal court,  Lizama was charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, Lizama, between Dec. 23, 2019 and Feb. 5 2020, executed a scheme by obtaining a Saipan mayor’s ID in the name of his brother (who was in jail at that time) and then using that ID to make a series of withdrawals — totaling over $30,000 — from his brother’s Bank of Guam savings account.

If convicted, Lizama will forfeit to the U.S. government any funds derived from the offense.

Attorney Colin Thompson was appointed by the federal court to represent Lizama.

Conspiracy

For their part, Servillana Soriano, Halim Khan, and Aminul Islam were charged  with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

According to the indictment, the three, between Aug. 1, 2018 and Feb. 11, 2019, agreed together and with each other to defraud U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the fair and objective evaluation of applications for CW-1 non-immigrant visas.

“It was part of the conspiracy that RES International LLC would, in exchange for money, submit a petition for CW-1 visas that would falsely state and fraudulently represent that a full-time employer-employee relationship would exist between RES and the beneficiaries, which included defendant Aminul Islam when, in fact, no such relationship was intended and the primary purpose of the application was to obtain legal status for those beneficiaries,” the indictment stated.

In furtherance of the conspiracy, the indictment added, a Form I-129CW, a petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant transitional worker, was mailed from the Northern Mariana Islands to the USCIS office in Laguna Niguel, California on or about Aug. 11, 2018.

The indictment did not mention other details about the case.

Soriano, Khan, and Islam on Thursday presented themselves for an initial appearance before Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.

The court appointed attorney Mark Hanson to represent Soriano; attorney Bruce Berline to represent Khan; and attorney Robert Torres to represent Islam.

Another conspiracy

In a separate indictment, Barrie James Ladd and Hiron Mollah were  charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

According to the indictment, Misamis Construction Saipan Ltd., owned by Ladd, would submit a petition for a CW-1 visa that would falsely and fraudulently represent that a full-time employer-employee relationship existed between Misamis and Hiron Mollah when, in fact, no such relationship was intended and the primary purpose of the application was to obtain legal status for Mollah.

The indictment stated that a Form I-129CW, a petition for a CNMI-Only nonimmigrant transitional worker, was mailed from the CNMI to the USCIS office in Laguna Niguel, California on or about Sept. 26, 2018.

Ladd and Mollah both appeared before Judge Manglona on Thursday for an initial appearance. The court appointed attorney Colin Thompson to represent Ladd while attorney Mark Hanson was appointed to represent Mollah.

A separate indictment charged Faroque Hosen with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government by filing a fraudulent CW-1 petition to USCIS.

“It was part of the conspiracy that a Saipan-based company…would, in exchange for money, submit a petition for a CW-1 visa that would falsely and fraudulently represent that a full-time employer-employee relationship would exist between that company and defendant Faroque Hosen when, in fact, no such relationship was intended and the primary purpose of the application was to obtain legal status for Hosen,” the indictment stated.

It added that a Form I-129CW, a petition for a CNMI-Only nonimmigrant transitional worker, was mailed from the NMI to the USCIS office in Laguna Niguel, California on or about Jan. 20, 2020.

The indictment provided no other details about the case.

Hosen came for an initial appearance in federal court on Thursday. The court appointed attorney David Banes to represent him.

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