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[休斯敦社区资讯]

办理虚假移民 蔡姓律师助理认罪

作者:世界名人网记者 季仲平          录入于 January 26, 2010 at 03:16:28:
世界名人网讯 一位前休斯顿律师事务所的助理因协助大陆华人冒充基督徒,伪称遭到中共宗教迫害,代为申请政治庇护,遭到移民与海关执法局 (ICE)调查,并由美国邮政调查局及美国劳工部派员协助,已于周五(1/8/2010)向区域法官认罪。

伊丽莎白·琼斯(Elizabeth Jones),又名伊丽莎白·蔡(Elizabeth Tsai),于2007年8月遭到控告,2008年1月在香港被捕,后被引渡回美面对审判。

根据蔡女士的供诉,从1999年到2003年,蔡工作的律师事务所总共为大陆人士申请约70件政治庇护案件。申请理由是因为信仰基督教,在大陆遭到迫害。然而在迫害声明上宣称的迫害方式和酷刑细节都非常相像,而且来自于同一家律师事务所,这样的情况非常少见。一位住在休斯顿的中国籍申请人到律师事务所去,蔡女士建议这位华人提出政治庇护申请,声称他在中国因为信仰基督教遭到迫害,即使他根本不是基督徒。蔡女士并在申请书中提供一份迫害声明。蔡女士提供的迫害声明中说,这位中国人在大陆将圣经带到某处教堂,被逮捕后中国官员对他施以酷刑,逼他说出交给他圣经的外国机构。蔡女士并提供给这位中国人一份基督教的研究指南,和一份印有两百条圣经句子的单子,告诉他必须在会见政治庇护官员以前学好。事务所的接待员告诉这位中国人,将蔡女士交给他的迫害声明用自己的话重新亲笔写一份,因为法律规定迫害声明必须是申请人自己的话。

伪造罪的判决最高是5年的监禁和25万美元的罚款。法院允许蔡女士交保,4月9日判刑。

莎莉律师事务所的律师莎莉·文(Shelly Winn)也被控罪。事务所的接待员也为涉嫌参与这个计划被指控,文律师将于2月接受法庭审判,在此之前,除非通过法律程序被判有罪文律师被推定无罪。

移民和海关执法,美国邮政检查局,劳动署 - 监察长办公室导致该案件起诉。美国助理律师 格雷格哥斯达黎加和Doug戴维斯进行了指控调查。

The United States Attorney's Office / Southern District of Texas
FORMER LAW OFFICE EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO ASYLUM FRAUD

(HOUSTON 1/8/2010) – A former employee of a Houston law office has pleaded guilty to conspiring to file false asylum applications on behalf of Chinese nationals who claimed they were being persecuted in China for practicing Christianity, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Elizabeth Jones, aka Elizabeth Tsai, 52, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge before United States District Judge Melinda Harmon this morning. Jones was indicted in August 2007 and arrested in Hong Kong in January 2008. After eventually waiving her right to an extradition hearing in Hong Kong, Jones was returned to Houston to face charges.

According to the factual basis in Jones's plea agreement, from 1999 through 2003, the law office for which Jones worked filed approximately 70 asylum applications on behalf of Chinese nationals which listed persecution based on practicing Christianity as the grounds for asylum. This was an unusually high number of applications from one firm claiming the same type of persecution and similar accounts concerning the details of the claimed torture existed in a number of the statements of persecution included in the applications. An investigation by federal agents revealed the law office routinely provided clients seeking asylum with a Chinese-language document titled “Basic Facts About Christianity.”

One of the asylum applicants, who was a Chinese national residing in Houston, visited the law office and met with Jones. Jones recommended the Chinese national file an application for asylum claiming he was persecuted in China for practicing Christianity even though he was not a Christian. Jones provided a statement of persecution which was included in the application. The asylum story Jones provided falsely stated, among other things, that the Chinese national was arrested in China for bringing bibles to a church and that Chinese officials then tortured and “beat him up badly” in an attempt to have him provide the name of the foreign organization that provided the bibles. Jones also provided the Chinese national with a study guide providing information about Christianity and a list of 200 bible verses to learn prior to the interview with the asylum officer. The law office receptionist told the Chinese national to rewrite the statement Jones created in his own handwriting because it “has to be in your own words.”

The conspiracy conviction carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The court has permitted Jones to remain on bond pending sentencing on April 9, 2010.

Shelly Winn, of the Law Offices of Shelly Winn and Jones'employer during the relevant period, and the receptionist were also charged for their alleged role in this scheme. Winn is set for trial in late February 2010 and is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law. The charges against the receptionist, who passed way during the pendency of this case, have necessarily been dismissed by the court.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Gregg Costa and Doug Davis are prosecuting the case.



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