Last Thursday, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri unsealed an indictment against three Missouri residents for allegedly running an immigration scam on unsuspecting consumers. A federal grand jury returned indictments against the three for their purported roles in a conspiracy to defraud people who purchased immigration forms that could have been obtained for free from the federal government’s USCIS website.
Thomas J. Strawbridge, Thomas B. Laurence and Elizabeth L. Meredith, all formerly of Sedalia, MO, were all charged in a 14 count indictment. The prosecutor alleges that Strawbridge founded and owned a company called Immigration Forms and Publications in Sedalia. Laurence allegedly ran the day to day operations, with assistance from Meredith.
The three allegedly conspired to sell federal immigration forms, which are free on the USCIS website, for hundreds of dollars to unsuspecting victims. The three used a 1-800 number to fool clients and called themselves “agents” when speaking with potential customers, according to the indictment. In addition to conspiracy, the three are charged with six counts of mail fraud and seven counts of wire fraud. The indictment also seeks asset forfeiture in an attempt to recoup some of the money allegedly taken from the consumers.
It is a good idea when using government forms that you always go to the USCIS website – www.uscis.gov – to obtain the latest and most accurate forms – FOR FREE. In addition, this story demonstrates why having an experienced Missouri immigration attorney assist you with your particular issue. In certain instances, the filing of immigration forms by an individual may be appropriate. In other instances, working with an immigration attorney can make the difference between a petition being approved or denied.
So if you need assistance and wish to work with an immigration attorney who will help you navigate the sometimes complicated system, call the Hacking Law Practice, LLC at 1-314-961-8200.