Immigrants Allegedly Stage Fake Robberies To Gain US Visas In Nationwide Scam

Six individuals face charges in connection with an alleged nationwide scam in which they staged fake crimes to allow the purported victims to apply for special U.S. visas, according to an indictment announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Parth Nayi, 26, of Woodbridge, Illinois, and Kewon Young, 31, of Mansfield, Ohio, are accused of leading the operation, which involved fake robberies at restaurants, coffee shops, liquor stores and gas stations in the Chicago area, as well as in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Four other individuals, identified as Bhikhabhai Patel, 51, Nilesh Patel, 32, Ravinaben Patel, 23, and Rajnikumar Patel, 32, allegedly participated in the scheme as fake victims. During the staged robberies, the purported robbers flashed what appeared to be guns and demanded money or property from the supposed victims.

The indictment claims that after the fake robberies, the alleged victims submitted forms to local police certifying that they were crime victims and were cooperating with investigators. They then filed fraudulent U-visa applications, which allow immigrants who have been mentally or physically abused and help prosecute criminals to stay in the country for four years.

All six individuals face charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Ravinaben Patel also faces a charge of making a false statement in a visa application, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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