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Human Smuggling/Trafficking

New York immigration attorney pleads guilty to participating in international human smuggling ring

NEW YORK – A Manhattan immigration attorney who participated in an international alien smuggling ring pleaded guilty yesterday in Manhattan federal court. This investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Hak Tung Lam, 44, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to encourage and induce aliens to illegally enter and reside in the United States.

According to court documents, from October 2006 to February 2009, Lam worked with others to smuggle dozens of Chinese nationals into the United States. During that time, Lam provided legal and logistical advice to alien smugglers and made false immigration filings on behalf of the smuggled aliens. Among other things, Lam recommended ports of entry, advised on methods of avoiding detection, filed false immigration documents, and obtained the release of detained aliens through fraud.

He earned more than $750,000 for his participation in the smuggling ring. Lam faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. In connection with his plea, Lam agreed to forfeit $750,000 to the United States government.