On Feb. 21, an Illinois man who pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud was sentenced to three years in prison. The man had reportedly been involved in a scheme to defraud investors into investing in a convention complex located near O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
The man reportedly admitted that he used fraudulent documents to raise millions from foreign investors. The investors, most of whom were from China, were led to believe that they would receive U.S. residency in return for their investments. The case involved approximately 290 Chinese nationals and the EB-5 visa program that provides green cards for foreign investors. The judge stated during the man’s sentencing that the defendant took advantage of the investors for personal gain. He was also required to pay restitution of $8.8 million to the foreign investors in addition to spending three years in prison.
Being accused of fraud can be serious. People may have to go through a federal investigation where they could potentially have funds and personal property seized. If they are convicted on the fraud charges, they could be facing a lengthy jail sentence and be required to pay thousands or even millions in restitution. They could also lose their jobs and be unable to find work in their industry once the case is over.
An attorney may assist with raising a strong defense on the defendant’s behalf. The attorney may analyze different types of evidence, documents and other data that could be important to finding holes or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Fraud is a specific intent crime, and thus an attorney could also argue that the defendant did not intend to defraud others of their property.
Source: US News, “3-year Sentence Given Chicago Developer in Visa Fraud Case“, Feb. 21, 2017