BALTIMORE, MD—U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz, sentenced Ahfaz Ahmed, age 46, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to one month in prison, followed by five months of home detention as part of two years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit labor certification fraud in a scheme in which Ahmed charged immigrants thousands of dollars to fraudulently obtain work visas for them.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Homeland Security Investigations; and Robert L. Panella, Special Agent-in-Charge for the Washington Region of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General – Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
According to Ahmed’s guilty plea, he was a naturalized United States citizen born in Pakistan and was the President of Super Technologies, Corp. located in Baltimore. Ahmed submitted numerous applications to the Department of Labor (DOL) seeking certification to employ alien workers at Super Technologies, providing false information regarding jobs he alleged were to be filled by alien workers at Super Technologies. In fact, those jobs did not exist.
Once Ahmed received certification from the DOL to fill the positions at Super Technologies, he filed petitions seeking to fraudulently sponsor immigrant or non-immigrant aliens on work-related visas. In some instances, those visas would enable the affected alien to apply for lawful permanent resident status. In exchange for his fraudulent sponsorship, Ahmed charged each alien a fee of anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000. He charged a similar amount to file renewal applications and petitions with the DOL and INS/USCIS to extend the aliens’ work-related visas based on their alleged employment at Super Technologies.
In most instances, the aliens obtained legitimate employment with other employers after obtaining their fraudulent visas through Ahmed. In order to make it appear as though the alien workers were actually working at Super Technologies, Ahmed required that each alien pay his “salary” to Ahmed through monthly checks or wire transfers into Ahmed ’s Super Technologies bank account. Once monies were received, Ahmed would use those funds to cut a “paycheck” to the alien for his alleged wages at Super Technologies, in order to conceal the fact that the Super Technologies employment alleged in the fraudulent forms filed with the DOL and INS/USCIS did not exist. These alleged “paychecks” also documented certain “miscellaneous deductions” which were kept by Ahmed from the monies provided to him by each alien. These “deductions” constituted ongoing payments by each alien of Ahmed’s fees for the fraudulent sponsorship, as well as payments for employer-related expenses and taxes such as Social Security and Medicare.
Ahmed fraudulently sponsored at least four individuals for temporary work visas (known as H-1B visas) based on false labor certifications filed by Ahmed with the DOL.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General – Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigation, for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Christine Manuelian, who prosecuted the case.