By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

A Los Angeles federal grand jury has indicted two men, Weon Keuk Lee, a South Korean national and California attorney who previously operated an immigration law firm in Los Angeles, and Young Shin Kim, a naturalized United States citizen who previously operated an accounting firm, for conspiracy to commit visa fraud. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

The indictment alleges the defendants exploited the EB-2 visa program by submitting bogus I-140 petitions on behalf of companies — some legitimate, some created specifically for the scheme — that purportedly wanted to hire foreign nationals after exhausting attempts to find suitable workers in the United States.

The indictment alleges between 2007 and 2015, Lee and Kim filed 117 fraudulent I-140 Petitions with USCIS, which resulted in the agency issuing more than 125 visas. According to court documents, those South Korean visa applicants simply wanted to immigrate to the United States, and they paid between $30,000 and $70,000 to the defendants in the hopes of obtaining a visa.

If you want to know more information on immigration compliance and related issues, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at