Mariano K. Pangelinan, a job-placement agency owner who was indicted with his two employees in federal court for allegedly conspiring to file petitions for CNMI-Only Transitional Worker permits for some alien workers that falsely and fraudulently named the company as the workers’ employer, pleaded guilty on Friday.
The 70-year-old Pangelinan pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to defraud the U.S. as part of a plea deal with the U.S. government.
He will be sentenced on May 9, 2014.
U. S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona remanded Pangelinan into the custody of the U.S. Marshal for his return to local custody under the Department of Corrections. The defendant has a pending criminal case in Superior Court.
The indictment charged 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 included a criminal forfeiture allegation to recover any vehicle and property used in the commission of the offense.
Pangelinan was 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.
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.
Aparente had fled to the Philippines. The U.S. government is currently working on the extradition process to bring Aparente to Saipan.