2 Chinatown fake immigration lawyers arrested in NY
08:21, August 07, 2009
Two operators of an immigration assistance office in New York City's Chinatown
neighborhood have been indicted and arrested for scheming to defraud a Chinese immigrant
attempting to bring members of his family to the United States, the Manhattan District
Attorney's office announced on Thursday.
Kevin Tong Hui You, 50, and Linda Xiao Ling Chen, 36, of New York City, were indicted on
charges of grand larceny, scheming to defraud, practicing or appearing as an attorney-at-law
without being admitted to the bar and registered as a lawyer, and violating the Immigration
Assistance Services Law, said Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Robert M. Morgenthau.
Their indictment marks the first time New York City's Immigration Assistance Services Law
has been criminally enforced, the DA said.
Court papers said Chen served as president and secretary of Da Bure Immigration
Consultation, Inc., recently moved from East Broadway to Division Street, in Chinatown.
"This business purports to offer assistance with applications and petitions pending with the
United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)," the papers said.
Morgenthau said the alleged victim sought help from Da Bure on behalf of family members,
both in China and in the United States, whom the victim had petitions pending before the
The victim, whose identity was not disclosed, met You, who said "in substance that he was
a lawyer specializing in express immigration. Chen also told the victim that You was a
lawyer," the DA's office said.
"You represented to the victim that he had special connections in the U.S. immigration
agency and in the U.S. Embassy in China," the office said.
"You guaranteed that the victim's petitions for his family members in China would be
approved within six months and that his family members in the U.S. would get green cards
through a particular program even though they had not applied and did not qualify," the office
A "green card" is an identification card, actually blue and white in color, given to immigrants
to the United States who become legal residents.
The victim allegedly paid You 4,840 U.S. dollars, which included You's fee for his services
and the money supposedly to be paid to USCIS to expedite the immigration petitions and to
obtain green cards, prosecutors said.
"Despite the provisions of the Immigration Assistance Services Law, the victim did not
receive a written contract for the services for which he paid," the DA's office said. "He did not
see any signs stating that the service providers at Da Bure were not lawyers."
Instead, You allegedly gave the victim a business card bearing a depiction of the scales of
The victim allegedly was told to go home and wait for a receipt from USCIS, but never
received anything. Eventually the victim contacted a Chinese association, which referred him
to the District Attorney's Immigrant Affairs Program.
Each of the defendants face one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a felony
punishable by up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison; one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First
Degree, a felony punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison; and two counts of Practicing
or Appearing As An Attorney-At-Law, a Judiciary Law misdemeanor punishable by up to 1
year in jail.
The defendants also face seven counts of violating the Immigration Assistance Services
Law, part of New York City's Administrative Code, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one
year in jail.
Additionally, You was charged with another count of violating the Immigration Assistance
Services Law, said the District Attorney, who added the investigation was continuing.