I Swear

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10313003 - image of a persons hand holding a passport

When an individual swears under oath, that person is verifying that what they are saying is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A former Social Security Administration (SSA) employee in Sacramento, California swore under oath to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) investigators that all information contained on a naturalization application for an acquaintance was accurate. (Well, you know the information provided was not true, otherwise we wouldn’t be profiling the article.) The former SSA employee went to great lengths to commit immigration fraud, even involving her husband.

Today’s article does not state if the person seeking citizenship was a friend or relative of the SSA representative. (Perhaps the SSA employee was trying to run a side business for profit. Maybe this was a test run to see if an immigration fraud scam was viable. Who knows?)

The former SSA employee, who was a claims representative in Sacramento, conspired with her husband and another person to make false claims on a naturalization application, which was submitted to USCIS in 2014. The SSA representative repeatedly used her position within the agency to generate multiple fraudulent letters for the wishful applicant to support the naturalization application process. (The government form contained false information regarding where the applicant resided.)

When USCIS investigators questioned the applicant’s residency, he claimed he lived in Sacramento, when he actually lived in Burbank. (So, the SSA rep went into overdrive and created lots of false documents to support the lie that his residency was in Sacramento.)

Co-conspirators helped to spread more lies. She used an individual, who could not read or write in English, to claim that the applicant lived at their house in Sacramento. When USCIS National Security officers paid a visit to the address, the SSA rep phoned ahead and asked the individual to lie by confirming the applicant did indeed live there. To make the lie look legitimate, she even had her husband and another person be present at the interview to support the false claim. (I wonder how much she had to pay the co-conspirators to make that all happen?)

After a four-day jury trial, the 46-year-old former SSA employee from Rancho Cordova was found guilty of conspiring to commit immigration fraud and falsifying government records. (This case is the epitome of an inside job.) She was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for masterminding the fraudulent naturalization and citizenship scheme.

The 61-year-old individual from Burbank trying to apply for naturalization was also found guilty of immigration fraud and sentenced to 21 months in prison. The SSA rep’s husband was sentenced to two years of probation for his part in the illegal scheme. Instead of the truth, these co-defendants told nothing but lies. The SSA employee at the center of this case abused her position as a claims representative and swore she was telling the truth. (I have a feeling that while she’s serving time behind bars, she’ll be doing a different kind of swearing.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Former Social Security Administration employee convicted in immigration fraud scheme,” published by The Sacramento Bee on February 2, 2018.

A former employee of the Social Security Administration in Sacramento has been convicted of conspiring to commit immigration fraud and falsifying government records.

Following a four-day jury trial, Nelli Kesoyan, 45, of Rancho Cordova was found guilty Wednesday of one count of conspiring to make false statements in a matter related to naturalization and citizenship and to obstruct, impede or influence a pending agency proceeding, and one count of falsifying government records, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. presided over the trial.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.