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6 men allegedly staged armed robberies to obtain crime victim visas
Image Source: WBBM-TV YouTube screenshot

6 men allegedly staged armed robberies to obtain crime victim visas

Bogus victims used the staged incidents to apply for U nonimmigrant status.

Six men were accused of staging armed robberies in multiple states to obtain crime victim visas, according to a federal indictment unsealed on Friday, WBBM-TV reported.

Between July 2022 and January 2024, the men allegedly faked robberies in Chicago, Louisiana, and Tennessee. After recruiting individuals to pose as robbers, the phony victims filed false police reports to apply for U nonimmigrant status, the unsealed indictment stated.

'Individuals acting as robbers ... struck purported victims.'

U-visas are "set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity," according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The six men, including Parth Nayi, 26; Kewon Young, 31; Bhikhabhai Patel, 51; Nilesh Patel, 32; Ravinaben Patel, 23; and Rajnikumar Patel, 32, were charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud. The men could face up to five years in prison. Ravinaben Patel was also charged with making a false statement on a visa application, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Nayi and Young planned out the staged robberies in which the Patels pretended to be the victims. The acting thieves would brandish what appeared to be firearms and demand money and other belongings from the fake victims.

"At the direction of Nayi and Young, the individuals acting as robbers, on certain occasions, struck purported victims to make the staged robbery appear real," the indictment read, WTTW reported. "The individuals acting as robbers took items from the purported victims and fled the scene."

According to federal prosecutors, Nayi was paid thousands of dollars to participate in the visa fraud scheme. More than a dozen bogus robberies were staged at various locations, including gas stations, fast-food establishments, coffee shops, and liquor stores.

One of the staged robberies occurred at a Chicago liquor store in July. Surveillance footage captured the recruited robbers shooting a 26-year-old clerk after the worker and customers handed over their belongings. The clerk was struck in the abdomen, according to WLS-TV. Another bullet reportedly went through a plexiglass window. Six people, including the clerk, were robbed, WLS reported at the time of the incident.

Immigration attorney Xavier Borjas of the Borjas Law Group told WBBM that the men are accused of committing a "pretty serious" crime.

"It's very disheartening, because there are so many people that unfortunately do qualify [for U-visas] and have been victims of these crimes that you want to ensure hopefully, get some sort of some, some sort of relief," Borjas stated.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →