Indian national convicted on multiple counts for visa fraud in US

New York, Dec 13 (IANS) A 33-year-old Indian national has been convicted of multiple counts related to visa fraud and conspiracy, following a three-day jury trial in the US state of Pennsylvania.

Vinaykumar Patel was the manager of the Fuel-On convenience store in Lock Haven city, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced last week.

In June 2019, Patel contacted an associate of his in New Jersey and asked that person to hire someone to stage a robbery at the Fuel-On store.

After the staged robbery occurred, it was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police, according to US Attorney Gerard M. Karam.

Patel then used the PSP (pre-employment screening program) reports of the robbery to apply for a U-visa.

The U-visa is a special visa offered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to non-citizens who are victims of crime and who are cooperative with law enforcement.

Patel had no lawful immigration status in the US at the time of the staged robbery. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Patel’s case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office.

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