Chicago Immigration Fraud Lawyers
America was founded by immigrants. The laws in this area have always been very controversial. The government cannot let everyone in, and it cannot keep everyone out. A line must be drawn somewhere. That line moves frequently, and the decision-makers who move it aggressively prosecute people who cross it.
These decision-makers almost take these matters personally. So, even though there is no money directly at stake, as is the case with Medicaid fraud and other such matters, once a person appears on the government’s radar in this area, prosecutors are normally relentless.
An adverse result in an immigration fraud matter could mean immediate and permanent exile to a strange land. In many cases, immigration fraud defendants have lived in the United States for decades.
Meanwhile, political upheaval or other changes have dramatically altered the place they left so many years ago. They must essentially start over in a new place after they have already started over once. No one wants to go through the same turmoil again, especially when the process is much less hopeful than it was before.
The compassionate Chicago immigration fraud lawyers at The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman understand what these defendants and families are going through. Many of the people on our professional team are recent immigrants who have gone through similar situations. So, we feel passionate about the rights of citizens and noncitizens alike. This passion fuels our purpose. So we thoroughly evaluate your case, identify all possible defenses, and never stop fighting for you.
Types of Immigration Fraud
As mentioned, unlike many other fraud cases, there is no money directly at stake in an immigration fraud matter. Instead, the item at stake is usually power, a commodity that’s often even more important than money. Below are some specific types of immigration fraud matters that our Schaumburg lawyers handle.
Sham marriages are legal for many purposes. But they are illegal for immigration purposes. Common types of targeted USCIS marriage immigration fraud include:
Visa marriage lotteries
Foreign nationals coercing or defrauding citizens into marriages
American citizens who marry foreign nationals as a favor
Foreign nationals paying American citizens for marriage
Investigators essentially presume that citizen and non-citizen marriages are fraudulent. So, they usually set up two Stokes Interviews. The first interview is a joint husband-wife interview. In the second one, investigators question the individuals separately, quizzing them about relationship details and looking for discrepancies.
Knowing what to expect during an interview is critical to the outcome of your case. It can also help ease some of your anxiety and uneasiness that often come along with these intense sessions. At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we not only represent persons accused of marriage fraud, but we also proactively help couples prepare for these investigations. You can trust a supportive and comprehensive approach applied to your case when you have an attorney from The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman on your side advocating to protect your rights.
Identity and Benefits Fraud
Falsifying a passport is not easy. But fabricating other such documents, like a Social Security card, birth certificate, or drivers’ license, is not terribly difficult. The security protocols on such documents are much lower, especially in certain jurisdictions.
Frequently, such false documents are effective for a while. But sooner or later, and usually, sooner rather than later, investigators unravel the scheme and file charges. On a related note, it is also illegal to provide false information on such forms.
Benefits fraud, according to federal law, is “willful misrepresentation of a material fact on a petition or application to gain an immigration benefit.” These prosecutions are similar to tax fraud prosecutions in many respects. Government prosecutors must prove that the statement or misstatement was fraudulent as opposed to negligent or accidental. A very fine line separates fraudulent from negligence or accidental.
Such prosecutions usually involve lengthy investigations. The more steps government investigators must take, the greater the opportunity there is for a fatal misstep.
Immigration Services Fraud
Frequently, these matters involve no individual wrongdoing, at least directly. Many governments employ unscrupulous immigration officials who make false statements about their power to procure immigration documents. The notarios publicos in many Latin American countries are a good example. Unscrupulous foreign lawyers operate in much the same way.
Legally, presenting a false document that someone else provided is just as illegal as counterfeiting a document yourself. Usually, the penalties in this area are stiffer than they are in other immigration fraud matters. In addition to deportation or exclusion, a conviction could mean up to twenty-five years in prison. Additional penalties could apply in the government proves the fraud was connected to international terrorism or drug trafficking.
A good faith belief that the document at issue was genuine is often either a defense to such charges or mitigating circumstances when a judge assesses punishment.
Any procedural or substantive defense could be available in any immigration fraud matter. But our Schaumburg immigration fraud lawyers usually defend these infractions as follows.
We mentioned Stokes Interviews above. Authorities cannot randomly detain suspects and force them to answer questions. There are rules in this area. However, when it comes to marriage fraud interviews, the rules are vague.
Even though immigration proceedings could mean criminal-like penalties, such as imprisonment and exile, they are not technically criminal proceedings. Therefore, many of the normal Constitutional protections in the Fifth Amendment do not apply.
However, other Constitutional provisions are still applicable, most notably the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process of law requirement. According to federal law, authorities must tell non-citizens the reason for their arrest or detention, warn them that anything they say could be used against them, and advise them of their right to employ a Schaumburg immigration fraud lawyer.
The details of a case matter and include the actions that law enforcement takes with respect to detaining or arresting a non-citizen. If investigators fail to follow these rules prior to a Stokes Interview, any information they obtain could be inadmissible in court. That information could even include a confession that the marriage was fraudulent. Identifying procedural missteps on behalf of the authorities is a skill that the Chicago immigration fraud lawyers at The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman excel at.
Identity and Benefits Fraud
These lengthy investigations often involve search warrants. Usually, investigators must obtain these warrants before they seize financial, communication, or other records. Often, these warrants rely heavily on information provided by anonymous or paid informers. Such information is suspect, at best.
By their very nature, anonymous informants are not willing to vouch for the information they provide. If they give it such little weight, there is no reason for a judge to give it additional credence.
Paid informants usually receive money, leniency, or favorable treatment in exchange for information. Many people will say almost anything for love or money.
In a few cases, a search warrant exception might apply. Owner consent is a good example. Banks, wireless communication providers, and other such entities are usually more than willing to provide copies of personal documents to law enforcement investigators. Technically, such documents are the company’s property. However, the individuals still have some privacy interests in these documents, even if these individuals are noncitizens.
Immigration Services Fraud
To distinguish between fraud and negligence or mistake, most investigators look for fraud badges, such as a long series of smaller misstatements or one giant misstatement. Even then, it is usually difficult for prosecutors to use conduct to establish intent. That’s the normal approach in these matters. The government has the burden of proof in these matters. Unless the evidence is overwhelming, this burden of proof is usually difficult to meet.
Frequently, the evidence in an immigration services fraud or other matter is a partial defense. That is, they are mitigating circumstances when it comes to punishment. Other mitigating circumstances include the length of time the defendant has been in the United States, the purpose of the original visit, and the defendant’s conduct during that time.
Sometimes, our Schaumburg immigration fraud lawyers engineer voluntary removal pleas. Basically, the defendant agrees to leave the country and remain away for a certain period of time. Afterward, the defendant may apply for readmission. The waiting period in voluntary removal matters is much shorter than the waiting period in deportation matters.
Contact a Dedicated Cook County Attorney
When you work with the aggressive, strategic legal team at The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, the objective is to always secure a not guilty verdict or complete dismissal of charges. If these things aren’t possible, we engineer the most advantageous plea deal.
Federal or state criminal charges can be unnerving and frightening, but a number of successful resolutions are available. For a confidential consultation with an experienced immigration fraud defense lawyer in Chicago, do not wait to contact The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman by calling 312-726-9015. When you only are given one call, making the right one can make all of the difference to the outcome of your case. At The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we routinely handle matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.
Areas of Practice
We make sure that no stone goes unturned when reviewing the evidence. At the Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we focus on thorough pretrial investigation and preparation. This groundwork helps us find ways to attack the government’s evidence. So, we ensure that our clients’ rights are not violated by being prosecuted by unlawfully obtained evidence or meritless charges. Through our tenacious advocacy, we have been successful in having investigations dropped, evidence thrown out, charges dismissed, obtaining favorable plea agreements, and getting not guilty verdicts at trial.
At the Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we have handled a wide range of federal cases including:
- Bank Fraud: This umbrella term usually applies to a wide range of financial crimes, such as loan fraud and account fraud. Basically, fraud is an intentional misrepresentation of current facts that are designed to produce an unlawful financial gain. Federal prosecutors must prove all these elements beyond any reasonable doubt.
- Drug Crimes: The War on Drugs is far from over. Every year, federal officials arrest thousands of people for drug possession. Street drugs, like heroin and crack, and prescription pain pills, like Vicodin and Oxycontin, are the most common possession cases. Federal authorities are also very aggressive when it comes to drug manufacturing and drug trafficking. These cases often hinge on circumstantial evidence.
- Embezzlement: These crimes usually involve people in positions of trust who illegally move money or property to enrich themselves. Embezzlement prosecutions will typically be associated with complex financial transfers and various financial accounts. In other words, there are a lot of moving parts. Such cases are difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Health Care Fraud: Although health care fraud could include insurance fraud, prosecutors usually focus on Medicare and Medicaid fraud. There is a difference between unintentional coding or other mistakes and fraudulent activity. But there is no bright line between these two things. So, aggressive representation is essential. Otherwise, the jury might not hear your side of the story.
- Immigration Fraud: In the post-9/11 era, federal prosecutors are particularly aggressive in this area. Authorities often assume that any paperwork irregularities are fraudulent. These crimes could also involve criminal record fraud. Immigration fraud usually means substantial penalties, such as deportation and exclusion.
- Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud: Every time a defendant licks a stamp, picks up the phone, or presses “send,” prosecutors add an additional mail or wire fraud count to the indictment. The result is often a lengthy, multi-count indictment that intimidates many defendants.
- Money Laundering: Much like embezzlement, these crimes also have a number of moving parts. The key elements are usually the defendant’s intent in moving money and the defendant’s knowledge that the money was associated with criminal activity.
- Tax Fraud: These cases are not as common as they were a few years ago. But that statistical fact is small comfort to individuals and businesses who face tax fraud charges. These individuals can be subject to substantial civil and criminal penalties.
Other areas of practice include:
- Bankruptcy fraud
- Possession of illegal pornography
- Trade secret theft
- Weapons offenses
- Obstruction of justice
Why Choose Us
At the Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman, we have decades of experience in this area. Law school teaches students to think like lawyers. But only experience teaches them to act as lawyers. Therefore, the old saying is true in these cases. There really is no substitute for experience.
Furthermore, our professional team is dedicated to criminal defense. This area of practice is not just a sideshow for us. Our dedication helps us identify some defenses that other criminal attorneys might miss. More on that below.
Accessibility is important to us as well. To facilitate attorney-client contact, we offer after-hours, virtual, and home visits.
Additionally, our workload facilitates accessibility. Our lawyers are always available to meet with you and answer your questions. Furthermore, our lawyers are hands-on professionals. We don’t over-delegate tasks to less experienced attorneys or nonlawyer paralegals.
Defenses in Federal Crimes
Many federal crimes involve procedural defenses. These defenses usually stem from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
The Fourth Amendment covers illegal searches and seizures. Generally, officers must have valid warrants before they search property or arrest individuals. The property at issue could be something large, like a house, or something small, like a smartphone.
Valid warrants must rest on probable cause. Uncorroborated information provided by a paid informer usually does not constitute probable cause. These informers usually receive money or leniency in exchange for the information they provide. Many people will say practically anything for love or money.
If officers don’t have search warrants, federal prosecutors must rely on a narrow search warrant exception, such as:
- Owner Consent: Property owners may consent to property searches. Usually, consent is a voluntary, affirmative act. An apparent owner, such as a vehicle driver who doesn’t own the vehicle, may also give consent in some cases.
- Plain View: This exception usually applies in vehicle searches. If officers see drugs, weapons, or other contraband in plain view, they may seize it without a warrant. Partial plain view situations, like a gun’s handle protruding from under a seat, are in a grey area.
- Exigent Circumstances: If officers reasonably believe that someone is in trouble, they may enter the building without a warrant and conduct a security sweep. During this sweep, they may seize any contraband they see in plain view.
Federal prosecutors cannot work backward in these situations. They cannot argue that since federal law enforcement officers found what they were looking for, the search must have been valid.
As for the Fifth Amendment, most people know this provision includes the right to remain silent. However, most people don’t know how broad this right is. Defendants need not try on clothes, appear in lineups, pose for pictures, or take any other action.
Furthermore, your Fifth Amendment rights begin as soon as custodial interrogation begins. Usually, “custody” happens when a reasonable person wouldn’t feel free to leave. Many people don’t feel free to leave the moment they see flashing lights in their rearview mirrors.
Procedural defenses are usually quite effective. Prosecutors cannot turn back the clock and fix these mistakes. Instead, the judge usually throws these cases out of court.
As mentioned, the burden of proof in a criminal case is beyond any reasonable doubt. That’s one of the highest burdens of proof in the law. If even one juror has a reasonable doubt about the evidence, the defendant is not guilty as a matter of law. Therefore, prosecutors must usually have an overwhelming amount of evidence to obtain a conviction.
Resolving a Federal Criminal Case
Because of the high out-of-court settlement rate, it’s critical that your criminal defense lawyer be a good negotiator as well as a good litigator. If that’s not the case, the best possible resolution might not be available.
Contact a Dedicated Cook County Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Federal criminal charges are scary, but a number of successful resolutions are available. For a confidential consultation with an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer in Chicago, contact The Law Offices of Vadim A. Glozman by calling 312-726-9015. Convenient payment plans are available.
Our Areas Of Practice
When you only have one call to make, make sure it is the right one.
We are here to defend your rights!