Thursday, August 13, 2009

Man Admits to Defrauding Immigrants Over Documents

An Ozone Park man faces up to four years in prison after admitting to defrauding five members of the local Trinidad community by promising to obtain expedited green cards.

Nazim (Tony) Hosein, 38, of 106-43 95th Street, was initially arrested in January as he arrived at JFK Airport on a flight from his native Trinidad. Last week, he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny and faces between 16 months and four years in prison when he is sentenced next Wednesday. He also must repay $91,800 to his five victims, who live in Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park.

“The victims in this case strove to become part of the American Dream. They worked hard and saved their money and gave it to this defendant in the hopes of gaining legal status in this country,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “Instead, they were defrauded by this defendant who must be punished for taking advantage of these vulnerable victims.”

According to the criminal complaint, Hosein met with his victims at various locations around the borough between August 2007 and October 2008 and claimed to know someone who worked in the federal building in lower Manhattan. Hosein told the victims that his contact would help them obtain legitimate immigration documents including green cards, social security cards and work permits in exchange for a large sum of money, which he claimed also covered the cost of expenses such as bank statements, taxes, fingerprints and medical coverage.

The fees charged ranged from $5,000 to $20,000. In some cases Hosein provided his victims with forged documents, and in others he told them to meet him at 26 Federal Plaza on October 10, 2008 to receive their documents. That day, many of his victims waited more than five hours outside the federal building for him. However, Hosein had taken a flight from JFK Airport to Trinidad the day before, according to U.S Customs records.

In total, Hosein took $91,800 in exchange for promising U.S documentation for seven individuals from five families.

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