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Document and Benefit Fraud

Attorney convicted of preparing and submitting fraudulent immigration applications

New York — RAGHUBIR K. GUPTA was found guilty of immigration fraud late yesterday, following a seven-day trial in Manhattan federal court.

According to the evidence presented at trial before United States District Judge DEBORAH A. BATTS from June 2004 through December 31, 2005, GUPTA, an attorney with offices in Brooklyn and Queens, charged illegal immigrant clients thousands of dollars to prepare applications that he claimed would result in work permits, travel authorization, and/or legal residence.

GUPTA submitted these applications under the L.U.L.A.C. program, a limited immigration amnesty and legalization program that allowed certain illegal immigrants – who, among other things, must have resided in the United States before January 1, 1982 – to apply for legal residence. GUPTA, while knowing that his clients had entered the U.S. too late to be eligible for the L.U.L.A.C. amnesty program and that they did not meet other requirements of the program, nevertheless caused his clients to provide false statements on the L.U.L.A.C. applications, including false dates for their entry into the United States.

GUPTA then presented these applications to the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services, knowing that they contained false statements. He was found guilty of one count of willfully causing the subscription of an immigration document containing a material false statement and presenting an immigration document containing a material false statement.

GUPTA, 59, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary loss or gain derived from the offense. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge BATTS on July 14, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, thanked the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Citizenship and Immigration Services for their outstanding work in the investigation.

Assistant United States attorneys LEE RENZIN, ARIANNA BERG, and DANIEL BRAUN are in charge of the prosecution.