Parmesh N. Dixit, age 40, an immigration attorney in Alpharetta, was arraigned yesterday on 28 counts of visa fraud, a count of conspiracy and 42 counts of alien harboring for the purpose of private financial gain, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta.
According to U.S. Attorney Sally Yates, Dixit lied about his client's qualifications to obtain work visas for them -- the government contends that he used his knowledge of the U.S. immigration laws to fraudulently manipulate the system for dozens of clients. He allegedly charged his clients higher than normal fees, telling them he could get them unmerited "green cards" that would give them permanent resident status.
He was arraigned and released on a $50,000 secured bond and ordered to surrender his U.S. and U.K. passports. He faces a fine of up to a $250,000 on each count, and up to a decade in prison on each count.
If the charges are sustained against him, it is likely that all of this attorney's cases could be reopened and reviewed by the immigration service's fraud unit. What a sad reminder to clients to only use highly reputable attorneys and never fall for false promises about obtaining green cards without problems or qualifications. It is a tough road to pass especially through employment, but the rewards certainly outweigh the risks by doing it legally.