ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Shahrzad Eram Soleimanlou, 59, of Falls Church, Va., was sentenced last week to 41 months in prison for defrauding vulnerable immigrant applicants of approximately $1 million from June 2000 through December 2005. She will also be required to pay approximately $1 million in restitution. This case was the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and FBI.
Soleimanlou pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud on May 28, 2009. According to court documents, Soleimanlou made false representations to immigration applicants that money was required to establish a bond or account to show immigration officials that the applicants had the financial ability to support themselves in the United States or that money was required to pay taxes, penalties or fees. She then converted the money - which is believed to be approximately $1 million - to her personal use.
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.