The U.S. government will recommend an 18-month plea deal sentence for a manpower agency employee for conspiracy to defraud the United States.
According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office memorandum submitted last Tuesday, it said the U.S. government will recommend that Mylene Basco Casapunan be sentenced to 18 months in prison, pursuant to a proposed plea deal.
Casapunan’s sentence hearing at the U.S. District Court for the NMI is scheduled for Monday, May 16, at 1:30pm.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that sentencing Casapunan to 18 months in prison is in line with the sentencing in a related case, United States v. Alejandro Tumandao Nario, where Alejandro Tumandao Nario received a sentence of 21 months.
Nario is the owner, president, and manager of A&A Enterprises, CNMI LLC, a manpower agency business in the CNMI. Court documents stated that Casapunan worked hand in hand with Nario to facilitate a visa fraud scheme for approximately two years on Saipan.
It said that Casapunan, a staff employed under Nario, “prepared CW-I petitions by acquiring information, communicating with foreign beneficiaries, and unlawfully modifying and forging documents for submission with petitions.”
Additionally, Casapunan “facilitated finances for A&A Enterprises, whereby foreign beneficiaries were coerced into making bi-weekly payments or else suffer from the rescinding of a CW-1 visa.”
Furthermore, Casapunan’s 18-month sentence “is also in line with another related case, United States v. Rosalee Bangot Abejo, where [she] received a sentence of six months home incarceration,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Also, Abejo’s sentence should be distinguished from Casapunan because Abejo participated in “less than five fraudulent documents.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it is “confident it would prove through electronic and physical evidence that Casapunan directly participated in at least 24 petitions.” However, in order to prove that Casapunan was involved, it would be through Casapunan’s statement and Nario’s statement, “who agreed to cooperate with the government in the prosecution of Casapunan.”
According to Saipan Tribune archives, A&A Enterprises facilitated an unlawful scheme to acquire CW-1 nonimmigrant visas for foreign citizens to enter and remain in the CNMI.
The government also said that Nario’s sentence should be “distinguished from Casapunan because of the number of fraudulent documents involved in the respective cases. As owner of A&A Enterprises, Nario signed each CW-1 visa petition.” The physical evidence and Nario’s statements support this claim.
Last February of this year, Nario was sentenced to 21 months in prison for fraud and misuse of visas (visa fraud). The court also ordered three years of supervised release, a $7,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment fee.
At the same hearing, Abejo was sentenced to six months of home confinement and 36 months of probation for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. The court also ordered 72 months of supervised release, 50 hours of community service, and a $100 special assessment fee.