PHILADELPHIA - Acting United States Attorney Laurie Magid today announced the filing of an Indictment1 against Habeeb Malik, Ira Weiner, and Thongchai Vorasingha, charging that the three engaged in a conspiracy to make false statements in applications to become United States citizens. The defendants are also charged with fraud in connection with the applications. Defendant Malik is additionally charged with filing false tax returns that failed to report tens of thousands of dollars in taxable income.
Defendant Malik owned The Foundation of Human Services in Broomall, Pennsylvania, which purported to assist foreign individuals in becoming naturalized United States citizens. Defendants Weiner and Vorasingha are medical doctors. According to the indictment, defendant Malik would refer clients to defendants Weiner and Vorasingha who would "examine" the clients and then complete INS waiver form N-648, falsely stating that the applicants suffered from various permanent maladies that impaired their ability to learn English. The alleged maladies included learning disorders, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder resulting from the hostilities overseas, and/or mental retardation. The applicants, in fact, did not suffer from any of these ailments and were not eligible for the waiver. Defendant Malik charged his clients $2,000 for this service and paid defendants Weiner and Vorasingha $120 for the "examinations."
"The defendants are charged with engaging in a long-term and sophisticated scheme to use their skills as doctors and businessmen to circumvent our immigration laws," Magid said. "These laws are in place to protect all Americans and are designed to insure that only those eligible to become citizens do so. The defendants repeatedly violated these laws to line their own pockets."
"This case is an outstanding example of two Department of Homeland Security branches working together to uncover a conspiracy created solely to help people circumvent the immigration process," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in Philadelphia. "With our partners in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Attorney's Office, ICE will continue to aggressively investigate immigration fraud to shut down vulnerabilities that pose a threat to our national security."
"I'm proud of our immigration officers in Newark and Philadelphia," said Karen FitzGerald, director of the USCIS Philadelphia district. "By detecting this fraud, they helped stop this attempt to circumvent the path to legal immigration."
INFORMATION REGARDING THE DEFENDANTS
|NAME||ADDRESS||AGE OR DATE OF BIRTH|
|Habeeb Malik||Broomall, PA||1949|
|Ira Weiner||Narberth, PA||1950|
|Thongchai Vorasingha||Wallingford, PA||1936|
If convicted of all charges, defendants Weiner and Vorasingha face an approximate guideline sentencing range of up to three years in prison. Defendant Malik faces an approximate guideline sentencing range of up to four years in prison.
The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Bresnick.