Six Defendants Indicted on federal fraud charge for allegedly staging robberies to apply for immigration visas


CHICAGO — Six individuals conspired to stage armed robberies in Chicago and the suburbs so that the purported victims could apply for U.S. immigration visas reserved for certain crime victims, according to an indictment unsealed in federal court in Chicago.

PARTH NAYI and KEWON YOUNG allegedly organized and participated in staged armed robberies at restaurants, coffee shops, liquor stores, and gas stations in Chicago and the suburbs of Lombard, Elmwood Park, St. Charles, Hickory Hills, River Grove, Lake Villa, and South Holland, as well as restaurants in Rayne, La., and Belvidere, Tenn.  The indictment alleges that BHIKHABHAI PATEL, NILESH PATEL, RAVINABEN PATEL, and RAJNIKUMAR PATEL arranged with Nayi to be “victims” of the staged robberies so that they could submit applications for U nonimmigrant status (“U-visa”), which is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in an investigation or prosecution.

The indictment alleges that individuals paid Nayi thousands of dollars to participate in the scam.  During the staged robberies, individuals acting as robbers brandished what appeared to be firearms, approached the purported victims, and demanded money and property, the indictment states.  Afterwards, some of the purported victims submitted forms to local law enforcement to obtain certification that they were victims of a qualifying crime and had been or would be helpful in the investigation, the indictment states.  Upon receiving certification, some of the purported victims then submitted fraudulent U-visa applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services predicated upon their alleged status as a robbery victim.

Nayi, 26, of Woodridge, Ill., Young, 31, of Mansfield, Ohio, Bhikhabhai Patel, 51, of Elizabethtown, Ky., Nilesh Patel, 32, of Jackson, Tenn., Ravinaben Patel, 23, of Racine, Wis., and Rajnikumar Patel, 32, of Jacksonville, Fla., are charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud.  Ravinaben Patel is also charged with an individual count of making a false statement in a visa application.  The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, while the false statement charge against Ravinaben Patel is punishable by up to ten years.

The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, and Sean Fitzgerald, Special Agent-in-Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew D. Moyer and Saqib M. Hussain.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here