Home News News Blog International Fraud Ring Recruited Short-Term Visa Holders

International Fraud Ring Recruited Short-Term Visa Holders

The recruitment pitch to students on short-term visas must have seemed irresistible: give us your good name and some help in our fraud scheme, and we’ll put money—potentially thousands of dollars—in your wallet before your return trip home. In charges unsealed late last month in San Diego, FBI agents and their law enforcement partners named dozens of young visa holders from former Soviet-bloc countries who took the bait and became willing co-conspirators in a range of elaborate fraud schemes.

International Fraud Ring Recruited Short-Term Visa Holders


The recruitment pitch to students on short-term visas must have seemed irresistible: give us your good name and some help in our fraud scheme, and we’ll put money—potentially thousands of dollars—in your wallet before your return trip home.

In charges unsealed late last month in San Diego, FBI agents and their law enforcement partners named dozens of young visa holders from former Soviet-bloc countries who took the bait and became willing co-conspirators in a range of elaborate fraud schemes. In four separate indictments, a federal grand jury laid bare how a Los Angeles-based Armenian crime ring ran scams in L.A. and San Diego that relied on a steady tide of accomplices whose time was short in the U.S. While the crimes themselves were not especially novel—identity theft, bank fraud, tax fraud—the explicit recruitment of co-conspirators with expiring visas was a twist.

Full story

Oct 25, 2013 06:00 PM