FBI Busts Fraud Robberies for Immigration Visas Ring

Six men were indicted in connection to a scheme to obtain visas meant for crime victims by staging a series of robberies in the Chicagoland area.

According to a May 17 news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, the defendants staged armed robberies at liquor stores, gas stations, and restaurants so the fake “victims” could apply for a visa program reserved for the victims of crime.

The unsealed indictment accuses two of the men, Parth Nayi of Illinois and Kewon Young of Ohio, of organizing and participating in staged robberies in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs between July 2022 and January 2024.

The four other defendants played the part of “victims” so they could obtain U non-immigrant status, or a U-visa, which the federal government sets aside for those who have suffered physical or mental abuse during the commission of a crime and are helping law enforcement in their investigation.

The four phony victims paid thousands to participate in robbery scams during which pretend “robbers” brandishing alleged firearms demanded money or property from the phony “victims.”

Afterward, the “victims” would submit documentation to local police to obtain certificates saying they were victims of a crime that qualified them for U-visas. After receiving certification, the scammers would submit fraudulent U-visa applications to ICE.

The four men who sought fraudulent U-visas were Bhikhabhai Patel of Kentucky, Ravinaben Patel of Wisconsin, Nilesh Patel of Tennessee, and Rajnikumar Patel of Florida.

All six defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud. One of the six, Ravinaben Patel, also faces a charge of making a false statement on a visa application.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the men could face up to five years in federal prison. Ravinaben Patel would face another ten years if convicted of making a false statement.

In one of the fake robberies staged last July at a Chicago liquor store, the 26-year-old clerk was shot.