BALTIMORE – A Pakistani citizen unlawfully residing in Cheshire, Conn., was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to bribe an immigration official in order to obtain lawful permanent residence and employment authorization documents.
Amjad Israr, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Baltimore District Office and the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to his plea agreement, Israr operated multiple convenience stores called Krauszer’s in Connecticut. In 1994, Israr entered the United States using another person’s Pakistani passport that he had purchased in Pakistan. Israr has no legal immigration status in the United States.
Beginning in December 2011, Israr began working with a Maryland attorney who told Israr that he knew an immigration official who was willing to provide immigration documents, which would permit Israr to legally live and work in the United States in return for payments of money. Unbeknownst to the attorney and Israr, the attorney’s immigration contact was actually an undercover federal agent posing as a public official.
Israr agreed to pay the attorney approximately $30,000 for the immigration documents, knowing that a substantial portion of the payment would be provided to the purported USCIS official in exchange for the immigration documents. On Aug. 25, 2011, Israr and the attorney met with the undercover agent and during the meeting, Israr’s fingerprints and photos were taken in order to prepare the immigration documents for Israr. On one of the immigration forms later submitted to the undercover agent by the attorney, Israr falsely represented that he was married to a U.S. citizen and the wife’s name and personal identification information provided on the form were all fake. In January 2012, Israr received a lawful permanent resident card issued by the undercover agent, which he used to enter the United States Feb. 4, April 12 and July 17, 2012.
The case was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Harry M. Gruber and Gregory R. Bockin.