Another CNMI Employer, Recruiters Indicted For Labor Fraud

Recruited alien workers from Bangladesh promising them employment in the U.S., 'Green Cards'

By Bryan Manabat

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, March 20, 2017) – Another locally registered company is involved in illegal labor contracting and mail fraud, according to an indictment filed in federal court.

The company is United Brothers Inc., which is doing business as TBK Auto Cares, and the four individuals indicted are David Trung Quoc Phan, the company president, and recruiters Muksedur Rahman, MD. Rafiqul Islam and Zeaur Rahman Dalu.

According to the indictment, Rahman, Islam, and Dalu knowingly recruited alien workers from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh promising them employment in the U.S. as painters, restaurant workers, drivers and die-cast makers.

The defendants promised the prospective workers an income of at least $1,500 per month, and also promised that they would be given lawful permanent residence status in the U.S. or green cards, the indictment stated.

It added that Rahman, Islam, and Dalu charged each worker between $15,000 and $20,000 in exchange for the promised jobs and visa.

After the recruiters had collected a portion of the fees from the workers, Phan, president of United Brothers, filed I-129 CW petitions on their behalf, the indictment stated.

It added that prior to the filing of petitions, Rahman asked Phan to assist in bringing his relatives to the CNMI by filing CW-1 petitions for them — Rahman paid Phan $1,500 for filing the petitions.

Phan mailed the I-129 CW petitions via USPS Express Mail to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-California Service Center and submitted fraudulent contracts to USCIS with each petition, representing that United Brothers Inc. had an available position for each worker, but in fact Phan did not have available jobs for the workers when he filed the petitions, the indictment stated.

According to the indictment, after USCIS approved the I-129 CW petitions filed by Phan, the co-conspirators told the workers when to show up for their consular interviews, when to apply for their entry visas, and coached or instructed the workers to lie to U.S. consular officers during their visa interviews.

“The workers were instructed to say they had not paid any fees in exchange for their jobs, and that the workers had the required work experience reflected in their contracts submitted in support of their petitions.”

The indictment further stated that the defendants told the workers that the consular office would deny the workers visas if the workers admitted they had paid fees for their jobs, or if they told the consular officers that they did not have the appropriate work experience.

The workers were issued visas to travel to the CNMI based on the representations and the fraudulent employment contracts submitted to USCIS by United Brothers Inc.

The indictment stated that after the workers arrived in the CNMI they briefly worked for Phan at TBK Auto Cares, but after several weeks Phan informed the workers that they did not know how to perform the work his business required, and that he would pay the workers less than the minimum wage.

Phan later fired the workers and told them it was not his responsibility to give them jobs, the indictment added.

Phan also told the workers that they had to find their own jobs, and that he only submitted petitions to bring them to the CNMI because Rahman had paid him $1,500, the indictment stated.

The four defendants were charged with one count of mail fraud and five counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting.

A notice of criminal forfeiture against the defendants also accompanied the indictment.

The indictment was originally a sealed case as moved by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on March 9, 2017.

The court appointed legal counsels for each defendant and Phan appeared in court for his initial appearance on March 16, 2017.

No other information was available regarding the other defendants’ court appearance.

Last week, the president of Curtwill Corporation, Arlene Hart aka Arlene Silva, was indicted on fraud and fraud-in-foreign-labor-contracting charges.

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