Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Jimenez: Upholding Visa Fraud and Money Laundering Convictions

 In United States v. Jimenez, No. 18-10569 (Aug. 25, 2020) (Hull, Wilson, Lagoa), the Court affirmed the defendant’s immigration-fraud conspiracy and money laundering convictions.

 The Court held that sufficient evidence supported the immigration-fraud conspiracy conviction because the  material misrepresentations he conspired to make were in documents “required by immigration laws and regulations.”  The Court rejected his argument that the document in question, an I-140 petition, was not such a document.  And the Court held that there was sufficient evidence that the defendant conspired to make false statements in the I-140 petitions in order to obtain visas for Chinese nationals.  Because the evidence was sufficient to support the immigration-fraud conspiracy, the jury could have also convicted him of money laundering because the visa fraud conspiracy was a “specified lawful activity” for money-laundering purposes.