FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Canarsie Man Charged with Defrauding Three Immigrants,
Claimed He Could Get Green Cards and Work Permits for a Fee
Allegedly Took More Than $8,000 From Victims;
Threatened to Report Them for Pursuing Refunds
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Canarsie man has been charged with grand larceny, scheme to defraud, immigration assistance services fraud, and related charges, for allegedly stealing $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).
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “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. I am committed to protecting all Brooklyn residents, regardless of their status, and caution everyone to be careful who they hire when seeking immigration services. I urge anyone who believes they may have been victimized by this defendant to call my Immigrant Affairs Helpline at 718-250-3333.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as James Archibald, 55, of Canarsie, Brooklyn. The defendant was arraigned last night 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 8, 2019. The defendant 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 $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, who were from St. Kitts and Jamaica, 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 the defendant with the District Attorney’s Action Center, which put them in contact with the District Attorney’s Immigrant Affairs Unit.
The District Attorney urged anyone else who believes they may have been defrauded by this defendant to call the DA’s Immigrant Affairs Helpline at 718-250-3333.
The case was investigated by Detective Investigators assigned to the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau.
The District Attorney thanked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, New York Asylum Office, for its assistance in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Fayola Charlet of the District Attorney’s Immigrant Affairs Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney José Interiano, Deputy Chief of the Immigrant Affairs Unit, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of the Investigations Division.
A criminal complaint is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.