NEW JERSEY – An attorney operating a law firm in Somerset County was arrested Wednesday for allegedly making false statements in visa applications, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Steven G. Thomas, 52, of New Hope, Pennsylvania is charged with preparing and filing false visa applications on behalf of clients. He was scheduled to appear Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni, Sellinger said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Thomas, who operates a law firm in Montgomery Township, New Jersey, encouraged clients to apply for asylum under fraudulent pretenses. He advised clients regarding the manner in which they were most likely to obtain asylum, knowing that these clients did not legitimately qualify for asylum. Thomas also prepared, or caused to be prepared on behalf of those clients, fraudulent applications and affidavits, which were submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A confidential informant working for law enforcement met with Thomas in January of 2020. Thomas filed on that person’s behalf a visa application containing numerous false statements in April 2020.