A Sunnyside immigration lawyer was sentenced for running a a large-scale asylum fraud scheme, prosecutors announced.
Andreea Dumitru (also known as Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu), 43, was convicted of one count of asylum fraud, one count of making false statements and one count of aggravated identity theft in November 2018. She was sentenced to spend five years in prison, plus one year of supervised release.
Dumitru was also ordered to forfeit $157,500.
“Using lies and forgery, Andreea Dumitru, an immigration attorney, cheated the nation’s asylum program,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman on May 8. “For her crimes, Dumitru will now spend five years in prison.”
According to charges, Dumitru operated a scheme to submit fraudulent I-589 Forms in connection with applications for asylum between 2013 and 2017. In over 100 applications, Dumitru knowingly made false statements and representations about the applicants’ personal narratives of alleged persecution, criminal histories, and travel histories, among other things.
Charges state that Dumitru also purposefully fabricated stories about her clients being mistreated, forged her clients’ signatures, and falsely notarized affidavits.
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.