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Man Gets Probation in Immigration Visa Fraud Case

(CNS) – A West Hills man was sentenced Monday to three years probation for conning Mexican nationals trying to obtain temporary work visas in the United States out of thousands of dollars by filing bogus paperwork.

Carlos Alberto Silva, 30, pleaded guilty to a single charge of visa fraud. His plea agreement acknowledges that he falsely represented himself to be an attorney and offered legal services to businesses that needed assistance in hiring unskilled temporary immigrant workers.

Under the scheme, Silva filed false petitions to obtain visas for alien workers, claiming that his clients’ businesses needed more employees and work visas than they had actually requested.

At the same time, Silva operated Mexican recruitment agencies that charged Mexican nationals about 50,000 pesos — $3,000 to $4,000 — to seek work visas that would allow them to enter the United States, prosecutors said.

Essentially, Silva “was selling the excess visas he obtained on behalf of his client businesses to aliens in Mexico and concealing that fact (along with others)” from ICE, prosecutors wrote in sentencing papers.