Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Third Man Sentenced as Part of Document Fraud Ring

A third man was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday, March 28, after pleading guilty to a conspiracy that involved making false statements in applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the creation and transfer of false identification documents, and the altering and transferring of foreign passports.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Rajin A. Latchman, 29, of Winter Garden, Fla., was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison. Co-conspirators Ted B. Shirley and Gaitrie Latchman were previously sentenced after pleading guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. Shirley was sentenced Jan. 25 to 30 months in federal prison. Gaitrie Latchman was sentenced Feb. 28 to 28 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, Gaitrie and Rajin Latchman would, for a fee of between $2,500 and $3,000, arrange for illegal aliens to obtain a Florida driver license. They were assisted by Shirley, who was an examiner at the Clermont office of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). As part of their services, the Latchmans would provide immigration and identification documents to the aliens, to present at the DHSMV office. To obtain such documents, the Latchmans would file applications with USCIS to cause the issuance of Form I-797C notices of action. The notices of action then served both as an immigration classification document and as proof of identity.

The Latchmans also altered I-797Cs and foreign passports. They then coordinated with Shirley so that their customers would make contact only with him when they went to the DHSMV office, thereby avoiding any scrutiny of such documents.

During the period of time that this criminal activity was taking place, Gaitrie Latchman also applied for naturalization and obtained U.S. citizenship. Pursuant to statutory requirements, the court revoked her citizenship and declared her certificate of naturalization to be void.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Armstrong.

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