SCAMWATCH: VISA FRAUD SCEME BROKEN UP IN BRAZIL
Eleven people arrested in a scheme that raked in an estimated $50,000,000. Here are details from the LA Times:
Authorities arrested 11 people Monday in an alleged U.S. work-visa scam
that raked in more than $50 million from thousands of Brazilians since
2002. Some of those scammed went to the U.S. and wound up as illegal
aliens because promised jobs didn't exist.
temporary working visas were charged up to $15,000 each in what a
statement from the U.S. Consulate called one of the largest cases of
U.S. visa fraud ever. Similar schemes were uncovered in Russia, the
Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Romania and the United Arab
Police are still searching for seven suspects,
including one who holds U.S. citizenship, said Aline Alves, the state
prosecutor. Assisted by U.S. officials, Alves headed the investigation
into the fraud in Latin America's largest city.
unidentified U.S.-based immigration lawyers and Brazilian middlemen
hatched the scheme by getting temporary visas authorized by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, and then charging Brazilians
exorbitant rates to land those visas tied to jobs that rarely existed.