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Cablegate: Peruvian H2b Fraud in Buenos Aires

VZCZCXRO7482
RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHQU
RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHBU #1232/01 3171453
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131451Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0017
INFO WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEPICA/USCIS WASHINGTON DC
RUEPICB/USCIS FDNS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUENOS AIRES 001232

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR CA/FPP
WHA/AND
DS/ICI/CR
DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC
POSTS FOR FPMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS PE AR
SUBJECT: PERUVIAN H2B FRAUD IN BUENOS AIRES

REF: 08 BUENOS AIRES 1631

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Post identified a fraudulent H2B petition used by
Peruvians claiming to be horse groomers seeking to work at well-known
race tracks in New York for prominent horse trainers. Five separate
cases dating back to May 2008 bear the same fraud indicators - fake
justification letters addressed to USCIS, fake I-797 DHS Notice of
Actions, and fake Argentine national identification documents. FPU
has linked at least thirteen additional applications to these
falsified petitions worldwide, but the actual number could be more,
given the forgery techniques employed. The Petition Information
Management System (PIMS) is consistently the first indicator of fraud
in these cases. END SUMMARY.

-------------------
First Hint of Fraud
-------------------

2. (SBU) In April 2009, when a 32-year old Peruvian woman, who
claimed she had worked in Buenos Aires for the past three years as a
horse groom, presented a clearly fabricated Argentine identity
document, the adjudicating officer referred the case to FPU. Not
only was the Argentine document manufactured with a fake identity
number, but the accompanying H2B petition was not in PIMS and bore
signs of manipulation by a laser printer. A check with Argentine
Immigration officials indicated that the applicant had only recently
entered the country.

------------------------------------------
Same Employers, Same Lawyer, Same Forgery
------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Two prior Peruvian H2B applicants from November 2008 bore
the same forged presentation letters addressed to USCIS on behalf of
horse trainer Victor Cuadra. The copy of the I-797 DHS Notice of
Action and all supporting documents, including letters of
recommendation and salary receipts, were fraudulent. While the
original I-797 included bona fide beneficiaries, the doctored I-797
presented to post, included the new "beneficiaries" and some of the
original beneficiaries, but with altered dates of birth. The CCD
showed some previously adjudicated cases for this petition with
scanned documents containing identical signatures and handwriting to
this fraudulent case. Text searches for the petitioner, R. Violette
Junior Stable Incorporated, showed at least thirteen H2b applications
dating back to 2005 in Peru, Paraguay, Mexico and Chile.

4. (U) The fraudulent beneficiaries presented similar stories during
their interviews. Each applicant alleged that s/he paid nothing for
the fraudulent documents and was offered the jobs, including room and
board, in the U.S., for a very low weekly salary (no more than 350
USD).

5. (SBU) FPU contacted the lawyer listed on the petitions, who stated
that while he represented Richard Violette and Victor Cuadra, he had
not filed a petition on their behalf in several years, and was
appalled to find that someone was using his name and the name of his
clients in this manner. Since his law office represents the majority
of horse trainers in New York and routinely files petitions for
members of the New York Thoroughbred Horse Association, he was eager
to cooperate with FPU to preserve the integrity of his practice. He
noted that most of his clients' seasonal workers came from Mexico and
Chile and recalled that the FPM in Peru had contacted him in 2008 to
verify a similar petition forgery.

--------------------------------
PIMS Makes Fraud Detection Easy
--------------------------------

6. (SBU) Post forwarded the fraudulent petitions to KCC, alerted
other posts who had named beneficiaries on the forged document, and
entered lookouts and hits for the listed beneficiaries, including a
few who were erroneously issued without checking PIMS. Post believes
that the forger is actively trying to evade detection by altering the
petition number, petitioner name and beneficiaries biographic data on
a once-valid petition.


7. (U) COMMENT: This is not the first time Buenos Aires has detected
petition-based visa fraud perpetrated by Peruvians. Reftel outlines
the case of a sheepherder who attempted to obtain an H2A using a
fraudulent petition. PIMS has made petition fraud detection much

BUENOS AIR 00001232 002 OF 002


easier. Clear document forgery and text searches are effective ways
to further an investigation, but almost all cases associated with
this petition were refused following an error listing in PIMS. END
COMMENT.
MARTINEZ

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