A federal grand jury Wednesday sentenced two Florida residents guilty of fraud charges related to immigration applicants.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) aided in a probe that led to U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell sentencing Rosa Cingari and Domenico Cingari to 12 years 7 months and 8 years 1 month, respectively, in federal prison for conspiracy, making false statements in immigration applications and petitions and mail fraud.
Rosa and Domenico were found guilty of these charges on November 9, 2016 and were charged on July 9, 2015.
The Cingaris were ordered by the court to surrender their property in Lakeland, Florida, where they committed the offenses and as part of their sentence must pay a $740,880 fine, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.
Evidence offered at the Cingaris’ trial showed they owned and operated an accounting company out of their Lakeland property and helped illegal aliens in getting Florida drivers licenses by filing fraudulent immigration documents.
“Most of the applications and petitions submitted to USCIS by the Cingaris contained materially false information. The Cingaris filed the fraudulent immigration documents in order to obtain USCIS I-797C Notices of Action. The Cingaris put their mailing address on all of the fraudulent forms so that USCIS would mail the Notices of Action to their business,” the USCIS said in a statement. “They then sold the Notices of Action to their alien clients. The Cingaris charged their clients between $500 and $1,300 for the fraudulent immigration applications. They collected at least $740,880 from their clients during the fraud scheme.”
Katherine Baranowski, USCIS Tampa Acting District Director, said, “In maintaining the integrity of our immigration system, USCIS has zero tolerance for fraud.”
She added, “Justice has been served with this sentencing, and we remain vigilant in detecting and bringing to prosecution any immigration fraud.”
“Immigration fraud subverts the orderly process of citizenship and compromises the security of our homeland,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, acting special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “HSI will move aggressively to investigate those who corrupt the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”