A federal grand jury has indicted a Brooklyn, New York, man on 12 counts of immigration fraud for allegedly submitting more than 1,800 false applications for permanent resident status.
The office of the U.S. Attorney for Vermont says Arleigh Louison, 53, submitted phony petitions on behalf of people seeking immigration “status adjustments” because they were victims of abuse.
The falsified documents were submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Center in St. Albans.
Federal prosecutors say the petitioners paid Louison, but did not discuss abuse, were not abused as described in the petitions and never authorized the statements Louison allegedly made in the them. In some cases, according to prosecutors, the petitions were submitted along with applications for work authorization documents.
Under the federal Violence Against Women Act, a person may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident if they are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty at the hands of a spouse or former spouse or other family member who is a U.S citizens or in the country legally.
Louison allegedly filed more than 1,800 fraudulent applications for some 1,000 petitioners in the last four years. He was arrested Tuesday in Brooklyn and was scheduled to appear in court in New York.
A date for his arraignment in Vermont has not yet been scheduled.