Two Manhattan lawyers were convicted Monday of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud by rigging asylum applications with deceptive information.
Attorneys Feng Ling Liu and Vanessa Bandrich were convicted along with office worker Rui Lang by a jury in Southern District Judge Ronnie Abrams’ courtroom for submitting asylum applications containing false claims of persecution.
Liu, 48, operated two firms, Law Offices of Feng Ling Liu and Moslemi and Associates Inc. She faces up to five years in prison when sentenced by Abrams on July 25.
Bandrich, 34, worked at Moslemi and was accused of coaching asylum applicants to lie about the persecution they suffered in their native lands when appearing before immigration judges. She opened a second firm, Bandrich and Associates, that was also accused of obtaining asylum status through fraud.
Lang, 30, worked at the Bandrich firm. Bandrich and Lang face up to five years in prison when they are sentenced July 31 and Aug. 1, respectively.
The guilty verdicts bring to 27 the number of people who have been convicted in what Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called a “sprawling immigration fraud scheme.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebecca Mermelstein, Robert Boone and Patrick Egan handled the prosecution in United States v. Liu, 12-cr-00934.
Liu was represented by Ronald Fischetti, Eric Franz and Phyllis Malgieri, Bandrich by Sean Maher and Lang by Stanislao German and Jason Richmond.