Citizen of Thailand, Nimon Naphaeng, was sentenced for 2 years imprisonment for organizing fraud scheme, which included the unauthorized filing of false asylum applications on behalf of Thai citizens. For such a crime, the government recommended 18 months of incarceration. The case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office.
To involve immigrants into his scheme, Naphaeng posted online ad and flyers in Thai restaurants in the U.S., suggesting help with tax returns and employment authorization document cards. He required applicants to provide their vital personal information like date of birth, copies of the passport and photos. Gathering all the necessary information, he could fill the asylum application form, which the applicants didn’t know. Hence, the applicants were eligible to receive EAD card and as a result, further government benefits including a social security number, driver’s license, and some financial benefits.
With this scheme, he defrauded more than 320 individuals, charging reasonable price for his “help”.
“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not tolerate immigration fraud of any kind,” said Susan Raufer, director of the USCIS Newark Asylum Office. “We are proud of our role in uncovering this fraud scheme and bringing the perpetrator to justice.”
The U.S. District Court Chief Judge charged Naphaeng a restitution of $400,000. But it is not a final amount yet, as according to the investigation documents the restitution may exceed $518,000. The court will apply this money to compensate for those victims suffered from fraud scheme.