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Immigration Attorney Defrauded Clients and USCIS, Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

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An immigration attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana received a prison sentence of over six years for fraud.

Attorney Joel Paul was sentenced by a judge in the district court for the Southern District of Indiana.  Paul was charged with defrauding the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and over 250 of his clients, making $750,000 in fees illegally.  Paul defrauded USCIS and his clients by filing fraudulent visa applications.

Joel Paul was sentenced to 75 months in federal prison.  District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson also ordered Paul to pay $750,000 in restitution to his victims.

According to Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan, “Immigration fraud undermines not only the public’s faith in our institutions and the legal profession, it also jeopardizes public safety and compromises national security…Attorneys who commit such egregious fraud on our legal system and their own clients will be held accountable.”

Paul pled guilty in November of 2017 to immigration document fraud, aggravated identity theft in connection with his fraudulent visa scheme, and one count of mail fraud.  He admitted, as part of his plea, that he submitted over 250 false applications for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant without his clients’ knowledge.  Paul approximately charged his clients $3,000 per application.

Here at the Hacking Immigration Law, we are extremely angry and saddened that any immigration attorney would take advantage of his clients in this way.  Immigration is an incredibly personal and serious issue in a person’s life.  Immigrants who seek an immigration attorney are looking to put their faith in someone they can trust with their future, their spouse’s future, their children’s future, etc.

By defrauding his clients, this attorney put families in danger.

I always say that the Hacking Immigration Law “is in the business of family.”  That is what makes this attorney’s fraud seem especially heinous.  I promise that if you come to the Hacking Immigration Law seeking immigration help, we will never treat you with this complete and utter lack of respect.

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