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Cablegate: Fraud Summary Oct-Dec 2007 Kingston

VZCZCXRO4130
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHTM
DE RUEHKG #0091/01 0291612
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291612Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0089
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5875
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0513
INFO RUEHZI/WHA IM POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KINGSTON 000091

SIPDIS

SIPDIS, SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR CA/FPP
DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC JM
SUBJECT: FRAUD SUMMARY OCT-DEC 2007 KINGSTON

REF: A) 07 KINGSTON 01158 B) 07 KINGSTON 01742


1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In the first quarter of FY 2008, Kingston's
Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) uncovered a ring of C1/D fraud that
resulted in specific information about the applicants' smuggler in
New York. FPU also investigated ten H-1B cases of Indian nationals
who provided fraudulent employment documents from their supposed
Jamaican employers. FPU Kingston continues to scrutinize H-1B
applications from third-country nationals and is working with FPU
Chennai to verify Indian education documents. Kingston's FPU
received 247 Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) cases, 9 new Immigrant Visa
(IV) cases, 7 American Citizen Services (ACS) cases, and 111
external requests (data checks from DHS, airlines, local
immigration, etc.). FPU processed an additional 157 walk-in cases
and entered 129 CLASS records based on I-275 turn around reports and
other tip reports. Of all the NIV cases referred, 201 were closed,
with 91 confirmed fraud (45.3% confirmed fraud). 13 IV cases were
closed this quarter, with nine confirmed fraud (69.2% confirmed
fraud). END SUMMARY

-----------------------
NONIMMIGRANT VISA FRAUD
-----------------------

2. (SBU) FRAUDULENT C1/Ds: In November 2007, FPU intercepted three
applicants who had previously received C1/D visas to work for Master
Ships and Navitrans Shipping companies, both of whom are known to
CA/FPP to be bogus companies. Two of the applicants were applying
for the H-2B program and one was applying for an immigrant visa
through his relationship with his American citizen wife. In a
series of in-depth individual interviews with the applicants, FPU
discovered that the three had all paid the same agent, Mr. Charles
R. Barrett of Queens, New York, in order to obtain crewmember
contracts and to make arrangements for their employment. According
to these interviews, the applicants claim that they intended to work
in the shipping industry as tank cleaners or housekeeping staff.
However, once these applicants reached Miami, each claims that they
were met by Mr. Barrett or an associate and taken by bus to Queens,
New York, where they were put to work in restaurants owned by Mr.
Barrett's friends. Two of the applicants worked at The Door
restaurant located at 16307 Baisley Boulevard, Jamaica, New York
11434.

3. (SBU) Further investigation into Mr. Barrett's associations with
visa applicants revealed his sister Rosalee Barrett's visa
application in July 2006 to obtain a C1/D visa for Panama Shipping
Lines, a company that has been linked to Master Ships and Navitrans
as another completely bogus company set up by the same individuals.
Ms. Barrett had been issued a 12 month C1/D visa, which has since
been revoked following this investigation.

4. (SBU) After reviewing CCD records, FPU determined that Kingston
has issued 34 visas to crewmembers claiming to work for one of these
companies. FPU continues to investigate these cases and is
preparing information to provide to Diplomatic Security in order to
assist in any investigation they may wish to conduct on Mr. Charles
Barrett and The Door restaurant in New York.

5. (SBU) SUSPECT H1B PETITIONERS: In the first quarter of FY 2008,
the Fraud Prevention Unit investigated ten H-1B visa applications
that had strong fraud indicators. The pattern of these applications
is familiar to Kingston: third country nationals, mostly from India,
work in Jamaica for one to two years at a small business in computer
programming or software engineering. Their friends and associates
in the U.S. find small companies owned by other Indian nationals to
petition for them. These companies are well-prepared to present as
many legal, financial and business documents as are required by the
Embassy in order to appear legitimate. However, upon further
scrutiny, these companies have all demonstrated fraud indicators as
well. Many of their alleged clients do not in fact have direct
relationships with the petitioners. Most of the companies have been
founded by former H-1B visa holders who have recently left their
original petitioning company. The majority of the employees at
these companies are H-1B visa holders who have recently arrived from
India. However, the challenge in theses cases lies in finding
enough strong evidence of fraud to support a petition revocation
recommendation. FPU Kingston returns these fraudulent cases through
the revocation process when possible, but often must issue visas to
these applicants when the burden of evidentiary proof cannot be
reached through our investigations.

6. (SBU) The companies most suspected by FPU Kingston are Delasoft,
Inc., Tech Arrow, RR Informatics, Hylee Group, and Novedea Systems.
Since Post began investigating applications from these petitioners,
Post has not received any subsequent applications from those
companies. Therefore, while the process is time and resource
intensive, FPU Kingston believes that our robust efforts to
investigate H-1B fraud are reducing the number of suspicious cases
Post receives.

7. (SBU) PORTMORE PACESETTERS MARCHING BAND: The Portmore
Pacesetters Marching Band is a well-known group of children and
young adults who perform at parades and events around Jamaica, as
well as travel regularly to the U.S. to perform at various parades
throughout the year. The group is a legitimate marching band, but
many of their members have overstayed their visas in the past, and
FPU has received tips that the band XXXXXXXXXXXX has
taken bribes from new members who have joined the band solely to
obtain a U.S. visa. A group of about 80 members appeared at the
Embassy in December 2007 to obtain visas for the Martin Luther King
Jr. Day Parade on January 21, 2008, in Tampa, Florida. FPU worked
through various channels in order to obtain more specific
information about members who paid their way into the band, but were
unable to verify specific names of those individuals. Because many
of the group's members use their visas appropriately, it was not
prudent to refuse the entire group's applications.

8. (SBU) In order to weed out the mala fide applicants, FPU
conducted thorough interviews with the applicants who were referred
to FPU for review. Through these, FPU cleared 16 applicants who
convinced us that they are bona fide members of the marching band
and who overcame 214(b). FPU will continue to seek information on
this group and will closely monitor future applications.

--------------------
IMMIGRANT VISA FRAUD
--------------------

9. (SBU) In October 2007, the FPU staff conducted field
investigations on outstanding immigrant visa cases over the course
of two days. Two of the Unit's Fraud Investigators organized the
trips and invited an entry-level officer (ELO) in the Consular
Section to participate each day, in order to serve as a training
opportunity and help orient the ELOs to the work involved in
conducting a fraud investigation. The two-day field trip covered
five of the 14 parishes and resulted in the completion of eleven
immigrant visa case investigations, of which eight were determined
to be fraudulent relationships. FPU plans to continue to organize
these field trips bimonthly.

--------
DV FRAUD
--------

10. (U) Kingston is not a DV post.

--------------------------------------------
AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES AND PASSPORT FRAUD
--------------------------------------------

11. (U) FPU continues to investigate passport and CRBA applications
for the ACS unit by providing Lexis Nexis and other database
searches on applications in order to assist the ACS officers in
their adjudication process. Particularly in the rush of passport
applications that has followed the implementation of the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), ACS has brought more cases to
FPU's attention for verification of U.S. civil documents and Lexis
searches to verify the passport applicants' claims to citizenship.


--------------
ADOPTION FRAUD
--------------

12. (U) FPU regularly investigates adoption cases where the
applicant's orphan status is uncertain. Jamaica has a tradition of
informal adoption without documentation, which makes it difficult
for Jamaican applicants to establish their eligibility. Often, an
applicant's relatives in the United States will adopt the applicant
despite the fact that the applicant does not qualify as an orphan.
FPU conducts regular field investigations to the applicants' homes
in order to determine who is caring for the applicant and whether
the family meets the poverty definitions of the INA.

-----------------------------------
ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFITS FRAUD
-----------------------------------

13. (U) Post's DHS/USCIS Officer-in-Charge reports no asylum cases
for the first quarter of 2008.

--------------------------------------------
COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES
--------------------------------------------

14. (U) FPU has set up quarterly trainings at Norman Manley
International Airport in Kingston and Donald Sangster International
Airport in Montego Bay to review U.S. travel document requirements
and basic fraud prevention techniques. FPU invites every airline to
send representatives to the trainings, which cover topics including
facial recognition, detecting imposters, basic document training and
examination of genuine and fraudulent U.S. visas and passports. The
most recent training was completed in October 2007, and the next
round of training is scheduled for January 2008.

--------------------------------
COOPERATION WITH OTHER EMBASSIES
--------------------------------

15. (SBU) On October 30, 2007, the Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM)
and Assistant Regional Security Officer Investigator (ARSO-I) met
with their British and Canadian counterparts at a lunch meeting
hosted by the British High Commission. The British were hosting
visitors from their Risk Assessment Operations Centre at UK Visas,
who provided valuable insight into their current fraud operations
and their plans to expand how they detect and deter fraud. The
meeting was held as a part of ongoing consultations between the
three Missions to work cooperatively and share best practices. The
meetings have been extremely successful thus far.

---------------------------
AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN
---------------------------

16. (SBU) FRAUDULENT VISA APPOINTMENT LETTERS: On November 26,
2007, the FPM and ARSO-I examined 25 cases in which applicants
presented counterfeit visa appointment letters to the Consular
Section in order to gain access to the building and bypass the wait
time for a visa appointment. The scheme was uncovered by the
Section's Process Facilitator, who noticed a pattern in the bogus
letters' printing and then discovered that none of the applicants
who presented the letters had a scheduled appointment for that day.


17. (SBU) During the interviews, most applicants revealed the name
of a document vendor who is known to the ARSO-I and who has been
under surveillance for some time. These applicants paid the vendor
up to US $100 for the appointment letter, as well as an additional
US $400 for other supporting documentation in some cases. FPU and
RSO continue to monitor the document vendor and are working closely
with the Jamaican Fraud Squad to arrest the individuals in question.


---------------------
STAFFING AND TRAINING
---------------------

18. (U) Per reftel B), FPU continues to seek CA/FPP assistance in
obtaining FSI training for one of our Fraud Investigators whose
nomination has been previously denied three times. Post intends to
nominate this staff member again for training later this spring.

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