NORFOLK, Va. - Beth Ann Broyles, 30, of Evanston, Ill., pleaded guilty in Norfolk federal court on Friday to conspiracy involving visa fraud and inducing aliens to come to the United States illegally. This case was the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting as part of a larger task force.
Broyles is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14, 2009, and faces a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, full restitution, a special assessment, and three years of supervised release.
According to court documents, Beth Ann Broyles, an immigration attorney based in Chicago, served as immigration counsel for the Viktar Krus organization in Virginia Beach. Krus was recently sentenced to 87 months imprisonment after being convicted on conspiracy, visa fraud and tax evasion charges. As Krus's lawyer, Broyles prepared successive fraudulent immigration petitions, which she submitted to the Department of Labor and thereafter to the Department of Homeland Security. Once approved by these agencies, these fraudulent petitions allowed Krus organization to recruit for and bring approximately 1,000 alien workers into the United States illegally on H2B visas, where they were allowed to work for periods of up to nine months. The majority of these aliens were from eastern European countries and from Jamaica. As a result of having access to this large pool of illegal workers, the Krus organization was able to generate over $35 million in gross income from 2003 to 2009.
This case was investigated by a dedicated task force focused on dismantling the Krus criminal organization. The task force investigating this case included ICE, the IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI's Norfolk Field Office, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Immigration fraud poses a severe threat to national security and public safety because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals, and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States. ICE uproots the infrastructure of illegal immigration by detecting and deterring immigration fraud.
Individuals and criminal enterprises often use fraudulent documents to obtain drivers' licenses and social security cards. Traffickers and alien smugglers use these documents to facilitate movement into and within the United States and they are also used to shield illegal aliens from detection within our society. Fraudulent documents may be used to obtain financial benefits and entitlements intended for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and to obtain unauthorized employment.