Fraudulent lawyer sentenced to prison for Visa scam

In the wake of massive overhauls being made in the immigration system, there is always going to be a need for experienced attorneys who can provide consultations to people who really need it. Visa applications and Immigration Laws can be quite complex to comprehend on your own and thus, it is advised to consult an Immigration attorney. But what if your own attorney defrauds you out of thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money?

Fraudulent lawyer sentenced to prison for Visa scam
Fraudulent lawyer sentenced to prison for Visa scam

Sentencing of a fraudulent Immigrant Advocate- More about the case

A fraudulent lawyer from Indianapolis was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for defrauding both the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and nearly 250 of his clients. The lawyer raked in nearly 750,000 dollars in legal fees from his clients.

The attorney’s name is Joel Paul and his sentence also consists of making restitution to the clients he has affected. The total amount equals to almost what he fraudulently charged from his clients. Paul, who is 45 years of age, hails from the town of Fishers and has been ordered to serve an additional three years under which he shall be supervised by law enforcement and he shall have to work to provide restitution to those he affected.

The Consequences- for such fraudulent lawyers and immigration aspirants to Canada

Acts like these are the ones that create doubt in the minds of honest and law-abiding people. Fraudulent lawyers committing such serious legal offenses not only put the public’s trust in their profession in jeopardy but they also create problems and put the legal system in danger. With the national security at risk, these fraudulent acts can cause harm instead of preventing them. Not just that, it also deprives other people who have done everything right and deserve every benefit that they are entitled to. Just and due process is obstructed and innocent people have to suffer.

The Admission of fraudulent advocates that help in Immigration to Canada or USA

Paul admitted his crimes and provided details about his modus operandi as a part of the plea agreement submitted by him. Starting from the year 2013, the crime spree of Joel Paul was spread over four years until 2017. During this time, Paul submitted applications asking for advance permission to enter the United States as a non-immigrant. These applications were filed without the knowledge of his clients and over the span of four years, he filled more than 250 of such applications.

The applications falsely imply that his clients were victim to a crime. To substantiate that, false evidence was furnished to the local law enforcement authorities. He did so by falsely obtaining acknowledgments from the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) and submitting them without the USAO’s knowledge. These acknowledgments said the victims provided sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims. For providing such services, he charged three thousand dollars from each client. He was caught during an operation led by HSI and assisted by USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.

This situation teaches us that we should be aware of what kind of a lawyer we are hiring. Do a thorough background check, look up any disciplinary actions and never pay in cash.

Raima Sen

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