Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that nine individuals, including seven law enforcement officers, have been indicted in federal court in South Carolina on visa fraud and drug charges.
One of the schemes alleged in the Indictment involved fraudulent U Nonimmigrant Visas (“U-Visas”), which are set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime. To obtain a U-Visa, a law enforcement official must certify that the alien is assisting that law enforcement agency in the investigation or prosecution of the crime of which the alien was a victim. According to the Indictment, four officers helped individuals obtain fraudulent U-Visas by taking bribes for fraudulent certifications and creating fraudulent incident reports indicating that aliens were victims of crimes.
The Indictment further alleges that officers took bribes in exchange for protecting methamphetamine and cocaine or the proceeds of drug trafficking.