Federal jurors convicted a Sunnyside immigration lawyer of operating a large-scale asylum fraud scheme, prosecutors announced Monday.
Andreea Dumitru (aka Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu), 43, was found guilty of one count of asylum fraud, one count of making false statements and one count of aggravated identity theft. The charges carry mandatory maximum sentences of 10 years, five years and two years in prison, respectively; however, Dumitru’s sentence will be later determined by a judge.
“Andreea Dumitru, an immigration attorney, scammed the asylum program, which was designed to provide safe harbor for the world’s most vulnerable people. She will now serve time in prison for her crimes.” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York.
According to court filings, between March 27, 2013, and 2017, Dumitru knowingly submitted over 100 applications where she made false statements and representations about the applicants’ personal narratives of alleged persecution, criminal histories, and travel histories, among other things.
Dumitru also deliberately fabricated detailed personal stories of purported mistreatment of her clients, forged her clients’ signatures, and falsely notarized affidavits.
Prior to these charges, in 2017 Dumitru and her business partner Evgeny Friedman, who operated Taxiclub Management Inc., were charged with four counts of first-degree criminal tax fraud and one count of first-degree grand larceny for failing to pay $5 million worth of 50-cent Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) surcharges for each ride.