Myrtle Beach business owners enter not guilty pleas in federal visa fraud, money laudering case
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and members of the Myrtle Beach Police Department announced Thursday a multi-count indictment against several Myrtle Beach businesses and their owners for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and visa fraud.
Raja Younas, Syed Naqvi, and Jessica Voight, along with the companies they represent, are accused of lying to get workers from outside of the U.S.
Officials said they submitted fraudulent visa petitions for immigrant employees. They’re also charged with misrepresenting the positions, work conditions and pay to the workers in question.
The three suspects were arraigned in federal court on Thursday where they entered not guilty pleas.
Authorities said the Younas and Naqvi ran Grandeur Management and Voight was one of their employees. The business is located on Oak Street.
Officials said many victims are from Jamaica and the Philippines, but there are other victims from other countries as well.
Authorities have identified several dozen victims, but they believe there are more out there.
“Many more dozens at least, perhaps hundreds,” Ed Roth, Resident Agent in Charge of the Diplomatic Security Service, said.
Officials said most of the workers were involved in the hospitality and service industries.
Authorities made clear that the employees were not J-1 students, and were primarily seeking H-2B nonimmigrant visas.
They want anyone who was victimized by the three arrested to come forward. They’re asking the victims to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We know that there are others out there who for whatever reason fear reprisals or are hesitant to come forward, and we want to hear their stories as well,” Roth said.
Officials said since the investigation is ongoing, more arrests are possible.
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