Two Somerset County attorneys indicted for visa fraud
MONTGOMERY TONWSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – Two Somerset County attorneys were indicted Friday for making false statements under penalty of perjury in visa applications, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Steven G. Thomas, 52, and Maria Thomas, 81, both of Montgomery Township were indicted for conspiring to prepare and file false visa applications on behalf of clients. Steven Thomas was also charged with one count of filing a false visa application, Sellinger said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from 2015 to 2021, the defendants encouraged their clients to apply for asylum under fraudulent pretenses. They advised their clients regarding the manner in which they were most likely to obtain asylum, knowing that these clients did not legitimately qualify for asylum. The defendants then prepared, or caused to be prepared, fraudulent applications and affidavits on behalf of those clients, which were submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A confidential source also met with Steven Thomas in January of 2020, and Steven Thomas filed a visa application containing numerous false statements in April 2020.