Authorities charge fourth person in connection to federal visa fraud case in Myrtle Beach
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A fourth person is accused of lying to get people from outside the U.S. to work at their Myrtle Beach businesses.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina and the Myrtle Beach Police Department announced arrests had been made in a visa fraud and money laundering case that centered around Grandeur Management in Myrtle Beach.
During the news conference, authorities said Raja Younas, Syed Naqvi and Jessica Voight were arrested and charged for their roles.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed that Tigran Hovhannisyan is the fourth person named in the case. He is charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering and visa fraud.
According to online records, Hovhannisyan has not been arrested, but his attorney has appeared in federal court for him. His attorney said that he can’t comment on his clients case, but did say Hovhannisyan is cooperating fully with the U.S. government.
WMBF News also obtained a redacted indictment outlining the charges in the case.
The indictment names Premier Laundry and Linen Supply, Cenet USA, Hospitality Service Group and Rida Naqvi as the other businesses that were also involved in the scheme. It shows that the defendants had some connection to each of the businesses.
The indictment states that the defendants devised a scheme “to defraud by luring workers from outside the United States to work for the defendants using material misrepresentations and false promises to the workers resulting in in the submission of fraudulent visa petitions.”
Court documents show the suspects coached the workers on how to complete visa petitions and provide false information, along with how to conduct themselves during immigration related interviews. The workers were also instructed on how to wire unlawful visa fees that were charged by the defendants, the indictment states.
The defendants also misrepresented the positions, duties, pay, working conditions and living conditions when they recruited the workers, according to the indictment.
The documents state that individuals were recruited as “cultural performers” but instead worked as housekeepers and other customer support positions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina said they have had multiple leads come forward to help them in the case, but they are still asking victims to come forward. The office is asking victims to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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