Indian Man Pleads Guilty to Visa Fraud Using Social Network Platforms
Kanwar Sarabjit Singh used Facebook and WhatsApp to falsely represent himself as an employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who could provide genuine visas in an exchange of a fee of $3,000 to $4,000.
An Indian citizen has pleaded guilty to operating a scam using Facebook and WhatsApp to defraud people seeking visas to the United States.
Kanwar Sarabjit Singh (aka Sandy Singh), 51, made use of the social network platforms to falsely represent himself as an employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who worked in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He told the victims that he could obtain genuine United States visas in exchange for a fee of $3,000 to $4,000, the statement added.
As part of his fraud scheme, Singh created a fake photo identification document purporting to be from DHS, which he emailed to others in an effort to show them that he was able to obtain U.S. immigration documents. Singh asked interested candidates to send him all their credentials, including passport photographs, copies of their passports and other personally identifying information, along with bank details to transfer to him the amount within a day or so.
Upon receiving the credentials and the asked fee, Singh generated and emailed fraudulent letters purporting to be from the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, which falsely claimed that there was an appointment to pick up the requested visa documents.
Singh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and impersonation of a federal officer on Sept. 10. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 14.
Besides the visa fraud scheme, Singh admitted to his direct involvement in an investment fraud scheme in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in 2012, in which he defrauded 22 investors of approximately $340,000, the justice department’s statement added. As per the court documents, after gaining the trust of the local pastor and his church, including elderly members, Singh convinced them that he owned a small company in India that provided labor for services, including data entry, to two large, international companies and that for a small, up-front investment, they would see a large return on their money.
Earlier this month, Harvinder Kaur Thethi, an Indian-origin woman, was sentenced to five years in prison for posing as an immigration lawyer and duping vulnerable people of big amounts in name of immigration-related services. She obtained £68,000 from victims, promising them immigration-related services which were never delivered.