Mohammed Rafiqul Islam is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit his sentence after being convicted of bringing Bangladeshi men to Saipan on promises of jobs and green cards in exchange for cash.
Islam, through counsel Bruce Berline, notified the U.S. District Court for the NMI about his appeal. He wants the Ninth Circuit to reverse the district court’s judgment last Friday.
The notice did not indicate Islam’s grounds for the appeal.
Berline earlier said that an appeal is automatic.
Last March 9, U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge John C. Coughenour sentenced Islam and co-defendants David Trung Quoc Phan and Muksedur Rahman.
Coughenour sentenced Islam to 18 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
The judge ordered Islam to pay $400 in special assessment fee.
Islam was ordered to pay with Rahman $188,426 in restitution to the victims in this case.
Rahman was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Phan was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, to be followed by two years of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. attorney James Benedetto had recommended a 30-month imprisonment or two years and six months for Phan, 120 months or 10 years imprisonment for Rahman, and 37 months or three years and one month for Islam.
Last Oct. 18, the jury found Phan guilty of two counts of mail fraud, three counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting, and one count of fraud and misuse of visas and permits.
Rahman was found guilty of two counts of mail fraud and three counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting.
Islam was found guilty of one count of mail fraud and three counts of fraud in foreign labor contracting.
Phan’s fiancée, Analyn Nunez, and Rahman’s wife, Shahinur Akter, were acquitted. Defendant Zeaur Rahman Dalu pleaded guilty.
According to the U.S. government, each of the victims paid over $10,000, but when they arrived on Saipan in April of 2016, they were not given work as promised.
The government named five victims, all Bangladeshis, in the case.