A Pakistani man was found guilty on Thursday of visa and naturalization fraud following a bench trial, announced U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Raja Anees Mehmood Khan, 41, of Pakistan, was found guilty of visa and naturalization fraud by U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore. According to the evidence presented at trial, Khan has a lengthy immigration history and has used three different names and dates of birth in his efforts to fraudulently obtain immigration benefits and remain in the United States.
The investigation by ICE agents in the Document & Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) in Houston found that Khan first attempted to enter the United States in November 1990 at the Los Angeles International Airport by using a counterfeit passport and visa. He was denied admission and was ordered deported. In August 1992, he gained entry into the United States with a temporary visa using an alias and a different date of birth.
After the visa expired, Khan filed for asylum in Los Angeles using yet another alias and date of birth. In 1995, his asylum claim was denied. In 1997, he married a U.S. citizen who filed the necessary paperwork for him to obtain U.S. permanent residence. At his interview with immigration authorities, Khan denied ever using other aliases and dates of birth; and he denied ever being previously deported from the United States or ever requesting asylum.
In 2002, immigration authorities granted Khan's request to become a U.S. permanent resident. Since then, Khan has traveled extensively out of the United States and subsequently re-entered by presenting his fraudulently obtained resident alien card (aka green card).
On Aug. 20, 2009, Khan applied to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization and omitted his prior immigration history; he also denied using other aliases and dates of birth to remain in the United States. Khan's fraud was discovered after a fingerprint examiner's analysis determined that all the fraudulent immigration documents in various names with varying dates of birth belonged to Khan.
The visa fraud conviction carries a maximum punishment of not more than 15 years imprisonment. The naturalization fraud conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years. Each statute also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Khan is subject to deportation after he completes any imposed prison sentence. Khan has been in federal custody without bond since his February arrest and will remain in custody pending a sentencing hearing set for Jan. 24, 2011.
ICE HSI was assisted in the investigation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).
Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Manning and Kimani Eason, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.