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USCIS Efforts in Investigating Large-Scale Immigration Fraud Leads to Sentencing
TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisted in an investigation that led to U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell sentencing Rosa Cingari to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison and Domenico Cingari to 8 years and 1 month in federal prison for conspiracy, making false statements in immigration applications and petitions, and mail fraud. The Court also ordered the Cingaris to forfeit real property located at 130 West Park Street in Lakeland, which was used to facilitate the offenses. As part of their sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $740,880, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.
A federal jury found Rosa and Domenico Cingari guilty on November 9, 2016. They were indicted on July 9, 2015.
According to evidence presented at trial, Rosa and Domenico Cingari owned and operated R.E.P.C. Accounting and Translations out of their home on West Park Street in Lakeland. They assisted illegal aliens in obtaining Florida driver licenses by filing fraudulent immigration documents. Specifically, they filed I-589, Applications for Asylum and Withholding of Removal forms; I-130, Petitions for Alien Relative forms; and I-765, Work Authorization forms. Most of the applications and petitions submitted to USCIS by the Cingaris contained materially false information. The Cingaris filed the fraudulent immigration documents in order to obtain USCIS I-797C Notices of Action. The Cingaris put their mailing address on all of the fraudulent forms so that USCIS would mail the Notices of Action to their business. They then sold the Notices of Action to their alien clients. The Cingaris charged their clients between $500 and $1,300 for the fraudulent immigration applications. They collected at least $740,880 from their clients during the fraud scheme.
"In maintaining the integrity of our immigration system, USCIS has zero tolerance for fraud," said Katherine Baranowski, USCIS Tampa Acting District Director. “Justice has been served with this sentencing, and we remain vigilant in detecting and bringing to prosecution any immigration fraud."
"Immigration fraud subverts the orderly process of citizenship and compromises the security of our homeland,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, acting special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “HSI will move aggressively to investigate those who corrupt the integrity of our nation's immigration system.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and USCIS. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stacie B. Harris and Simon Gaugush.
For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and Facebook(/uscis).