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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08KINGSTON864 2008-09-30 19:00:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

FRAUD SUMMARY - KINGSTON

Tags:   KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC JM 
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RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHMT
RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHKG #0864/01 2741900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301900Z SEP 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6812
RUEHPNH/NVC PORTSMOUTH 0519
INFO RUEHWH/WHA DIPLOMATIC POSTS COLLECTIVE
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 KINGSTON 000864 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR CA/FPP

DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC WILLIAMSBURG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC JM
SUBJECT: FRAUD SUMMARY - KINGSTON

REF: A) 08 KINGSTON 000425 B) 08 KINGSTON 00091

KINGSTON 00000864 001.2 OF 005




1. (U) SUMMARY. This cable is Kingston's first report on the new
semi-annual schedule, covering April-September 2008. In the second
half of FY 2008, the FPU focused on NIV petition-based visa fraud,
as well as enhanced cooperation with our partners at the British and
Canadian High Commissions. In June, FPU organized a half-day joint
conference for the fraud units of the U.S., British, and Canadian
Missions; trained 219 airline representatives on fraudulent document
detection; and implemented a new prescreening system to verify the
enrollment of 875 students applying for J-1 summer work and travel
visas. FPU received 1936 Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) cases, 59 new
Immigrant Visa (IV) cases, one ACS case, and 305 external requests
(database checks from DHS, airlines, local immigration, etc.). FPU
processed an additional 376 walk-in cases and entered 481 CLASS
records based on I-275 turn around reports and other tips. Of all
the NIV cases referred, 1902 were closed, 235 were confirmed fraud
(confirmed fraud rate: 12%). 19 IV cases were closed, with seven
confirmed fraud (confirmed fraud rate: 37%). END SUMMARY



--------------------------


COUNTRY CONDITIONS


--------------------------





2. (U) Jamaica, located 550 miles south of Florida, has a population
of 2.75 million and a 2007 GDP of USD 10 billion. Independent since
1962, Jamaica is a member of the British Commonwealth of nations
with a constitutional parliamentary democracy with relatively high
literacy rates, an outspoken and vibrant press, and an open market
economy. Two parties, both originating from labor movements,
dominate the political scene: the Jamaica Labor Party, elected in
2007 and led by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, and the Peoples
National Party.



3. (SBU) Jamaica is a major producer of marijuana ("ganja") for the
U.S. market. The economy is so dependent on ganja that the Minister
of Agriculture recently stated publicly that were it not for the
ganja crop, many rural communities would cease to exist. Jamaica is
also routinely exploited as a narcotics transshipment hub with an
estimated 20-25% of the cocaine that reaches the United States
transiting the country or its territorial waters. Jamaica is also a
significant transit hub for other contraband, particularly weapons
smuggling in the form of a robust guns for drugs trade with Haiti.
The Department rates the crime rate in the capital city of Kingston
as critical. Depressed economic conditions and the presence of the
drug trade contribute to civil unrest and criminal activity,
including significant visa and citizenship fraud. Illegal migration,
transnational crime, economic inertia, and a formidable HIV/AIDS
presence adversely affect U.S. national security, economic,
democracy, and other strategic interests.



4. (U) Jamaica's proximity to the U.S. mainland and well-developed
sea lanes and air links facilitate the transit of over two million
travelers, including well over one million American tourists
annually between the United States and Jamaica. An estimated 24,100
U.S. citizens reside in Embassy Kingston's consular district.
Kingston's Consular Section supports consular agents in Montego Bay
and the Cayman Islands.



5. (SBU) The incidence of suspected fraud in many government
agencies is high. Visa applicants often submit forged or altered
birth, marriage, and police certificates. Transparency
International's annual index of corruption, announced 25 September
2008, showed Jamaica falling 12 places (from 84 to 96) during 2008
on the list of 180 countries surveyed.



--------------------------


NONIMMIGRANT VISA FRAUD


--------------------------





6. (U) H-2B PETITION REVOCATIONS: In April, FPU learned that the
U.S.-based Bright Stars 1, Inc. employment agency had filed multiple
H-2B petitions on behalf of U.S. employers with whom the agency had
no existing relationship. Correspondence from our FPU colleagues in
Belgrade told us that petitions filed on behalf of the Park Shore
Resort in Traverse City, Michigan, were fraudulent, as the employer
had not requested any overseas employees for the 2008 summer tourist
season. The manager at the resort also confirmed that his resort
could not accommodate more than five overseas employees during a
given season. However, Bright Stars owner Kathy Nelson and her
staff had filed a petition on behalf of Park Shore Resort requesting
25 workers for the summer season. FPU Kingston immediately canceled
all visas issued on the petition, both physically and
electronically, as the passports had not yet left the Embassy. FPU
also temporarily refused all pending applications until those
applicants could apply on a different petition.

KINGSTON 00000864 002.2 OF 005





7. (SBU) The owner of Bright Stars 1, Inc., Kathy Nelson, came up on
FPU Kingston's radar not long after the H-2B petition fraud was
discovered. In May, Ms. Nelson arrived in Jamaica on a
photo-substituted Jamaican passport, claiming to be a Jamaican
citizen. Jamaican immigration officials became suspicious when Ms.
Nelson could not answer simple questions about Jamaica and
determined that she had presented a fraudulent document. She was
immediately arrested, pending deportation to the United States.
Because of her status as a U.S. citizen, Jamaican immigration
officials contacted the ACS Unit to inform them of the arrest. Our
ACS officer visited her in prison to ensure her well-being and to
ask her to fill out a U.S. passport application. She originally
refused. She eventually signed the passport application and was
later escorted by a member of the U.S. Marshals Service to the
United States.



8. (SBU) While on her trip to the U.S., our colleague from the U.S.
Marshals Service obtained a compelling first-hand, written statement
from Ms. Nelson regarding the Jamaican source for the
photo-substituted Jamaican passport that she had used. Ms. Nelson
also revealed damaging information about several prominent Jamaican
employment agencies that regularly submit H-2B and performing visa
petitions and applications. FPU continues to investigate these
leads, in conjunction with the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Fraud
Squad Investigative Unit, to determine whether these agencies should
no longer be allowed to continue to submit visa petitions to the
Embassy. These agencies may also face criminal charges for their
alleged illegal behavior, which could result in permanent visa
ineligibilities in the future for any culpable staff members.



9. (U) J-1 SUMMER WORK AND TRAVEL PROGRAM PRESCREENING: On Saturday,
April 26, Kingston's Visa Unit conducted over 1300 visa interviews
to tackle some of the most critical components of Kingston's visa
backlog. When deciding which groups of visa applicants to interview
on this record-breaking "Super Saturday," FPU suggested that
multiple goals could be reached by selecting groups that could be
pre-screened for fraud indicators, thus preventing mala fide
applicants from receiving visas and aiding visa adjudicators during
their interviews. Accordingly, the Visa Unit decided that H-2B and
J-1 summer work and visitor visa applicants would be prescreened as
well as interviewed on April 26.



10. (U) FPU verified the post-secondary school enrollment of each of
the 875 J-1 summer work and travel (SWT) applicants in less than two
days and entered case notes regarding each student's enrollment
status to aid officers in their interviews. The results were
outstanding: fraud was confirmed in about seven percent of all
cases, leading to the refusal of 65 mala fide applicants who may
have otherwise evaded detection. The adjudicating officers noted
that the investigative work done in advance of the interviews helped
them make sound decisions and saved critical interviewing time. FPU
plans to pursue similar prescreening methods for future NIV groups.




11. (SBU) H-1B PETITION REVOCATIONS: In the third quarter of 2008,
FPU continued to investigate a trend of fraudulent H-1B visa renewal
applications. Two such cases revealed the source of many of
Kingston's fraudulent applications: U.S.-based immigration
consultant, Taylor Lee & Associates of Miami, Florida. Each of the
applicants in these two cases confirmed that Ms. Sharon Lee of
Taylor Lee & Associates had approached them about finding employment
in the United States. According to the applicants, Ms. Lee told
them that she could provide all the requisite paperwork to obtain an
H-1B skilled worker visa, which then also allowed the applicants'
families to accompany them on H-4 visas.



12. (SBU) In the first case, the applicant presented falsified
documents during her original H-1B visa interview in 2005 and
obtained the visa. The applicant admitted to the FPM during her
renewal visa interview in April 2008 that her supposed employer,
Eden House Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia, did not exist and that
she had been working illegally as a practical nurse in the New York
area for the previous three years. She also admitted that Ms.
Sharon Lee had provided her with a cover story and had prepared her
for her initial interview in exchange for a large fee.



13. (SBU) In the second case, the applicant did not present
fraudulent documents to obtain the H-1B visa. Three years earlier,
when she had expressed a desire to live with her sister in the U.S.
and work as a tax accountant, the applicant claimed that Ms. Lee
advised her to file incorporation paperwork in the state of Florida,
where her sister resides. Lexis Nexis research revealed that the
applicant had incorporated her own business in the state of Florida
just one month before her sister, who the applicant had named in the
incorporation documents as the company's "president," filed the H-1B

KINGSTON 00000864 003.2 OF 005


petition in the U.S. The applicant admitted that she learned about
Ms. Lee's services through a friend in Jamaica and that she had some
misgivings about working with her. She claims that she has not
heard from Ms. Lee after she paid the requisite fees to Taylor Lee &
Associates in 2005.



--------------------------


IMMIGRANT VISA FRAUD


--------------------------





14. (U) In May and June, FPU staff conducted field investigations on
eight immigrant visa cases. Two of the Unit's LES Fraud
Investigators organized the trips and invited entry-level officers
to participate each day as a training opportunity. The field trips
covered four areas and resulted in the completion of four immigrant
visa case investigations, of which one was determined to be a
fraudulent relationship. FPU plans to continue to organize these
field trips bimonthly.



15. (U) Drawing on the success of our colleagues in Santo Domingo,
where the vast majority of petitioners are present at immigrant visa
interviews, Kingston has encouraged (but not required) many
applicants in romantic relationship cases (IR1, CR1, K1, K3) who do
not immediately convince the adjudicating officer of the bona fides
of their relationships to bring petitioners to their follow-up
interviews. The higher percentage of petitioners present at
follow-up interviews has improved the officers' ability to detect
relationship fraud. Also, FPU's LES investigators have conducted
more "split" interviews of the petitioner and applicant in recent
months, applying their wealth of local knowledge and years of
experience to garner more confessions of relationship fraud and
saving adjudicating officers interview time. These successful
"split" interviews also save FPU time and resources by reducing the
number of local field investigations required to complete fraud
reviews of questionable immigrant visa cases.



--------------------------


DV FRAUD


--------------------------





16. (U) Jamaicans are not eligible to participate in the DV
program. Kingston processes only a minuscule number of cases for
applicants from other countries.



--------------------------


AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES AND PASSPORT FRAUD


--------------------------





17. (U) U.S. PASSPORT FRAUD: In the third quarter of 2008, FPU and
the ACS Unit detected two fraudulent U.S. passports. Jamaican
immigration officials flagged one of the false passports when they
noticed a suspicious traveler who presented the fraudulent document
in an attempt to board a flight from Montego Bay to the United
States. FPU confirmed that the document was fraudulent, and the
individual was detained and processed by the local police. The
second fraudulent document was detected when an individual submitted
the passport to ACS in order to obtain a "renewed" U.S. passport.
The document had been photo-substituted and was quickly confirmed to
be fraudulent using PIERS records. Kingston's ARSO-I interviewed
the individual and ACS entered the appropriate PLOTS lookouts.



--------------------------


ADOPTION FRAUD


--------------------------





18. (U) FPU regularly investigates adoption cases where the
applicant's orphan status is uncertain. Jamaica has a tradition of
"informal" adoptions, which makes it difficult for Jamaican
applicants to establish their eligibility as orphans under U.S. law.
Often, an applicant's relatives in the United States will adopt the
applicant, despite the fact that the applicant does not qualify as
an orphan. FPU conducts regular field investigations to the
applicants' homes in order to determine who is caring for the
applicant and whether the family meets the poverty definitions of
the INA.



--------------------------


USE OF DNA TESTING


--------------------------





19. (U) Kingston processes a high volume of cases where DNA testing
is recommended. It is common in Jamaica for fathers not to be listed
on their children's birth certificate, or for their name to be added
later, with little or no supporting documentation provided proving
the relationship at the time the name is added. As a result, the
biological relationship of IV and ACS applicants is often

KINGSTON 00000864 004.2 OF 005


questionable. Approximately 20% of all cases where DNA is done
resulted in no biological relationship.



--------------------------


ASYLUM AND OTHER DHS BENEFITS FRAUD


--------------------------





20. (U) Post's DHS/USCIS Officer-in-Charge reported no asylum cases
for the period of March - August 2008.



--------------------------


ALIEN SMUGGLING, TRAFFICKING,


--------------------------




--------------------------


ORGANIZED CRIME, TERRORIST TRAVEL


--------------------------




21. (SBU) In July 2008, the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF)
Anti-corruption branch, with technical assistance from DHS/ICE
Kingston, arrested JCF Superintendent Harry George Daley (a.k.a.
"Bungles") for extortion in an undercover sting operation. As a
wealthy, high-ranking police officer who is allegedly connected to
Jamaican criminal gangs, such as "the One Order" and "the Clansman,"
Mr. Daley was demanding protection money from business owners. In a
country where gang leaders are known as "dons", Daley is allegedly
known as the "Don of Dons." According to ICE, Superintendent Daley
was heavily involved in drug smuggling and human
trafficking/smuggling. FPU revoked Mr. Daley's B1/B2 visa
immediately after his arrest.



--------------------------


HOST COUNTRY PASSPORT, IDENTITY DOCUMENTS,


--------------------------




--------------------------


AND CIVIL REGISTRY


--------------------------





22. (U) Document forgers, corrupt government officials and poor law
enforcement assist alien smuggling rings operating in the country.
The incidence of suspected fraud in many government agencies is
high. The Jamaican government (GOJ) has issued a new secure
passport, but issuance procedures are poor and a new identity
complete with a GOJ issued passport continues to be easy to attain.




23. (U) In March, FPU coordinated an off-site field trip to the
Registrar General's Department (RGD) to learn about the process of
obtaining local birth and marriage certificates, as well as
certificates of no impediment to marriage. The RGD provided an
insightful presentation and tour of their facilities. The field trip
provided a better understanding of the RGD and built confidence in
the RGD's ability to help prevent fraud with respect to the civil
documents they produce.



--------------------------


COOPERATION WITH HOST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES


--------------------------





24. (U) Building on the success of the RGD field trip the previous
month, in April, along with our colleagues at the British and
Canadian High Commissions, the FPM and ARSO-I participated in a
roundtable discussion with the head of the RGD, which issues all
civil documents in Jamaica. The purpose of the meeting was to
foster better cooperation between the three Missions and the RGD,
particularly in cases where the Missions have detected forged or
counterfeit birth, death and marriage certificates. FPU has formed
an outstanding working relationship with the RGD over the years and
has implemented a streamlined process for document verification.
However, there had not been much information sharing between the
three Missions and the RGD in the past in order to determine the
sources of these fraudulent documents. To better prevent this type
of fraud, the meeting participants agreed to refer all cases
involving altered RGD documents to the RGD's fraud department,
regardless of whether the fraud would result in potential visa
ineligibilities. This new system has helped the RGD to attempt to
pinpoint the sources of these fraudulent documents and will
hopefully lead to the arrests of all responsible individuals.



25. (U) FPU continued our public outreach efforts with airline and
immigration officer training in April. FPU trained approximately 40
new airline representatives on the detection of fraudulent
documents, facial recognition and U.S. travel document requirements.
In July, FPU hosted two representatives from DHS/CBP for additional
training of airline representatives and Jamaican immigration
officers. Over two weeks, a total of 179 representatives were
trained in Kingston and Montego Bay.


KINGSTON 00000864 005.2 OF 005




--------------------------


COOPERATION WITH OTHER MISSIONS


--------------------------





26. (SBU) Cooperation with our colleagues at the British and
Canadian High Commissions is one of FPU's highest priorities. All
three Missions face common fraud threats, so it is clear that we can
each target fraud more effectively through communication and
information sharing. FPU organized a conference for the three
Missions' fraud prevention units and adjudicating officers on June


18. The purpose of the conference was three-fold: to introduce
everyone so that lasting formal and informal relationships could
develop; to learn about each other's immigration systems and
document security features; and to brainstorm new avenues of
collaboration in order to detect and prevent fraud. The conference
was a success on all three fronts. The thirty conference attendees
enjoyed presentations by each of the three Missions that focused on
explaining the similarities and differences of each country's
immigration laws, as well as comparing passport and visa security
features. There was lively discussion during each of the
presentations that addressed bedrock immigration issues, such as how
visa decisions are made, who can qualify to migrate to each country,
and what constitutes a visa ineligibility. The participants left
with a better understanding of the rules governing the other
Missions' visa decisions, along with more open lines of
communication. FPU, in conjunction with our British and Canadian
partners, plans to make the conference an annual event.



--------------------------


AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN


--------------------------





27. (U) Post hopes to implement more FPU involvement in the H2
process. FPM Melissa Bishop participated in the H2 Conference in
Guatemala City in August and brought many ideas back to post
including more comprehensive prescreening processes. Post has also
recently submitted the H2 Data Call Cable requesting H/L funding to
cover among other things new H/L funded LES to focus primarily on
H2b fraud prevention and validation studies.



--------------------------


STAFFING AND TRAINING ISSUES


--------------------------





28. (U) The FS-02 Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM) position, which had
been vacant since 2003, was finally filled by Melissa Bishop in
August 2008. She also serves ad Deputy Chief of the Visa Unit, with
primary responsibility for NIV operations. Currently one other
officer, Christiana Foreman, is assigned to the Unit for a six-month
rotation as Fraud Prevention Operations Officer. In August, Ms.
Foreman attended the Fraud Prevention for Managers course at FSI;
and two of the three FPU LES were able to attend the Fraud
Prevention course at FSI in March and September of 2008.

JOHNSON