NEW YORK, United States, Wednesday June 12, 2019 – A New York resident has been charged with defrauding immigrants from Jamaica and St Kitts, taking more than US$8,000 from them under the pretense that he could get them green cards and work permits, and then threatening to report them after they asked back for their money.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday announced that James Archibald, 55, has been charged with grand larceny, scheme to defraud, immigration assistance services fraud, and related charges, for allegedly stealing US$8,520 from three undocumented immigrants who hired him to process work permits and green card applications with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
“This defendant is accused of preying on some of the most vulnerable members of our society who were victimized as they attempted to comply with federal laws,” Gonzalez said.
Archibald, a resident of Canarsie, Brooklyn, New York, was arraigned before Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Joseph McCormack on a 10-count criminal complaint in which he is charged with third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree immigration assistance services fraud, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on August 8th, 2019.
Archibald faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
The District Attorney said that, according to the complaint, between October 2016 and May 2018, the defendant, who was the owner of a company called US Caribbean and Asian Development Organization, allegedly stole US$8,520 from three undocumented immigrants who paid him to process and expedite work permit and green card applications on their behalf with USCIS.
The victims met the defendant through mutual acquaintances. After receiving the payments, the victims repeatedly contacted the defendant, but he failed to provide the promised services and they tried to get their money back. It is alleged that the defendant told the victims that if they persisted in pursuing refunds he would report them to USCIS. He also allegedly failed to return the passports of two victims.
The investigation began in January 2019 after two of the victims filed complaints against Archibald with the District Attorney’s Action Center, which put them in contact with the District Attorney’s Immigrant Affairs Unit.