Khatija Khan says she started her company with good intentions, in 2014, to provide services to immigrants involved in filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). But it became apparent her main intention was to commit fraud by swindling immigrants seeking help with the naturalization process and along the way crushing their dreams.
Most of these clients were living in the U.S. without legal status, had limited education, a limited ability to understand English, and little to know knowledge of the documents that Khan was filing on their behalf. Khan knew how vulnerable her victims were and used it in her favor, reportedly with threats of deportation if they didn’t follow instructions.
Khan represented herself as an attorney with a background in immigration matters, even though she was not an attorney. For a very large fee, Khan prepared petitions and applications for her clients, forty in all, that contained information she knew to be false, without her clients’ knowledge.
Due to Khan’s lack of understanding immigration law, most of Khan’s clients did not receive application approvals. According to USCIS, most of the applications lacked merit or a legitimate basis.
So why did our fraudster develop this scheme? According to her lawyer, when clients looked to her for advice and guidance, Khan felt needed and important. Assistant Federal Defender Carly Levenson filed a lengthy sentencing memo, emphasizing the traumas Khan has experienced in her life, starting with being unwanted in her extended family.
Maybe Khan will be able to find new ways to cope with her trauma-based insecurities while serving her time. Khan was sentenced to 50 months in prison along with full restitution of over $325,000 to the victims.
Great job in this investigation by Homeland Security.
Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article ”South Windsor woman gets five years for scamming immigrants” published by Journal Inquirer on September 2, 2022
A South Windsor woman who falsely claimed to be a lawyer and, with her husband, defrauded more than $326,000 from immigrants seeking legal status in the United States, was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison.
DEFENDANT: Khatija Khan, 41, of South Windsor
GUILTY PLEAS: Mail fraud and conspiracy
SENTENCE: Five years in prison, followed by three years of “supervised release”
The sentence imposed on Khatija Khan, 41, by Judge Stefan R. Underhill in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, was below the 6 1/2 -year minimum recommended by federal guidelines. After completing the prison time, Khan will be on “supervised release,” which is similar to probation, for three years.