Somerset County Attorney, Steven G. Thomas Arrested for Visa Fraud
TRENTON, N.J (STL.News) An attorney operating a law firm in Somerset County, New Jersey, was arrested today for allegedly making false statements in visa applications, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Steven G. Thomas, 52, of New Hope, Pennsylvania, is charged by complaint with preparing and filing false visa applications on behalf of clients. He is scheduled to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Thomas, who operates a law firm in Montgomery Township, New Jersey, encouraged clients to apply for asylum under fraudulent pretenses. He advised clients regarding the manner in which they were most likely to obtain asylum, knowing that these clients did not legitimately qualify for asylum. Thomas also prepared, or caused to be prepared on behalf of those clients, fraudulent applications and affidavits, which were submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A confidential informant working for law enforcement met with Thomas in January of 2020. Thomas filed on that person’s behalf a visa application containing numerous false statements in April 2020.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina; and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Fraud Detection and National Security Unit in the Newark Asylum office, under the direction of Newark Asylum Director Susan Raufer, with the investigation leading to the arrest.
The government is represented by Senior Civil Rights Counsel Joseph Gribko of the Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.