A job-placement agency owner and his two employees were indicted in federal court last week for allegedly conspiring to file CW-1 petitions for some alien workers that falsely and fraudulently named the company as the workers’ employer.
The indictment, which was filed in court last Tuesday and unsealed on Friday, charged Mariano K. Pangelinan, Rosabella P. Cruz, and Helen N. Aparente with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to defraud the U.S.
In addition, Pangelinan was charged with 17 counts of visa fraud, Cruz with 13 counts of visa fraud and one count of false statement, and Aparente with four counts of visa fraud.
The U.S. government also wants to seize any company vehicle or property used to commit the offenses.
Pangelinan is the alleged primary corporate officer of ARCH International Co. Ltd., which held itself out as a job-placement agency that could help aliens in need of CW-1 permits find employment and obtain CW-1 permits.
Cruz and Aparente were alleged employees of ARCH.
Pangelinan appeared in court on Friday for his initial appearance. Attorney Joseph Horey served as his court-appointed counsel.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy allowed Pangelinan to be released upon posting a $10,000 unsecured bond with some conditions.
Arraignment will be on Nov. 4 at 10am.
According to the indictment, Pangelinan, Cruz, and Aparente conspired from July 2011 through July 2013 to defraud U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by submitting fake employment contracts for 17 alien workers.
The defendants allegedly discouraged aliens who had questions about their CW-1 petitions from taking their questions to USCIS, by warning them that USCIS would handcuff them and send them home.
At least 17 aliens were involved in the transactions with the defendants.