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Man admits involvement in CW-1 petition scheme; another defendant to change plea

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AMINUL Islam admitted his involvement in a CW-1 petition scheme, and pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States on Monday.

The case against Islam and his co-defendants, Servillana Soriano and Halim Khan was unsealed in August. The three were charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona accepted Islam’s plea and adjudged him guilty of the offense. She then ordered the plea agreement to be unsealed.

According to the plea agreement, between on or about Aug. 1, 2018 and on or about Feb. 11, 2019, Soriano and Islam agreed together and with each other, and with others, to defraud the United States by deceitful and dishonest means, for the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful government functions of a government agency, namely, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS, in the fair and objective evaluation of applications for a CW-1 nonimmigrant visa.

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 and fraudulently represent that a full-time employer-employee relationship would exist between RES and the beneficiaries, which included 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 plea agreement stated.

It added that in furtherance of the conspiracy, a Form 1-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, was mailed from the CNMI to the USCIS office in Laguna Niguel, California on or about Aug. 11, 2018.

More specifically, Islam and Faroque Hosen paid $900 to Soriano for RES to petition them as workers on CW-1 permits. Islam also personally provided certificates of job experience that falsely claimed they had three years’ experience as janitors and cleaners.

The petition was approved by USCIS on Feb. 11, 2019.

Vacated

Judge Manglona vacated Islam’s jury trial set for Oct. 10, 2020 and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Feb. 2, 2021.

The judge ordered Islam to remain out of custody and to abide by the previously imposed terms and conditions for his release.

At the change of plea hearing, Islam was represented by attorney Robert T. Torres and an interpreter.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Garth Backe, who represented the federal  government, asked the court to schedule a change of plea hearing for Islam.

He also requested the court for a change of plea hearing in the case of Faroque Hosen.

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

Hosen is also accused of conspiring with RES International LLC and paying it for a CW-1 petition.

Judge Manglona granted the prosecution’s request and set Hosen’s change of plea hearing for today, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m.

The court appointed attorney Richard Miller to represent Hosen in the proceedings.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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