Fraud Uncovered in Special Refugee Admissions Program for Iraqis

“The criminal case has exposed staggering gaps in security at Homeland Security’s legal immigration agency.”

(Reporter Stephen Dinan)

This is a followup to a post I wrote at RRW a few weeks ago.

Biden Admin Halts Special Refugee Program for Iraqis Due to Fraud Bust

Even as refugee resettlement contractors*** say it isn’t so, and attempt to silence us by getting us listed as hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center  (more to say on this later) for daring to raise the issue of national security breaches and fraudulent activity that surrounds refugee admissions from the Middle East, they can’t hide the truth.

The US Refugee Admissions program is filled with fraud! Here is more proof that you have no idea who your ‘new American’ neighbors are!

From the Washington Times (hat tip: Anne):

‘Sophisticated insider threat’ at DHS immigration agency forces pause to Iraqi refugee program

Ali had been anxiously eyeing the first days of the Biden administration, counting on the president’s promises of a new era in immigration to clear hurdles and help him get the visa he’s been seeking for years, as a reward for helping the U.S. war effort in Iraq.

But two days into the new administration, those hopes were dashed when the State Department announced an emergency pause on the special Iraqi refugee program.

Prosecutors had just revealed an almost unthinkable internal security breach: Two Homeland Security employees had been selling secret files from the Iraqi program for years, leaving security experts to figure out the damage, and the State Department to try to cauterize the wound.

The scam also left those like Ali — a pseudonym The Washington Times is using to protect his identity — worried about what bad guys might now know about him.

“I was literally counting the days of Trump’s presidency term and wishing Biden wins the election to resume the program so we can finally get our freedom and restore our normal life,” Ali told The Times in an email. “Now with this news I receive another shock to be added to my life’s tragedy.”

The criminal case has exposed staggering gaps in security at Homeland Security’s legal immigration agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The fraud is similar to asylum fraud we have reported in the past at RRW where lawyers create a ‘sob story’ that is used with variations to get an applicant through the process.

NYT: “Asylum Fraud in Chinatown: Industry of Lies”

Sources told The Times the goal was not, as Ali feared, to glean information that could be used to exact retribution against those who helped the U.S. Instead, the scammers were trying to exploit America’s generosity to pave a path for undeserving people.

Having access to the case files from successful applications gave the fraudsters a template to help others craft their own applications, cutting out information that had sunk others and highlighting the factors that had worked in previous cases.

“These guys were seeing applications and write-ups of those who were successfully able to establish eligibility, and basically take those narratives and repurpose them for others,” said Rob Law, the past chief of policy at USCIS.

“People adopt similar stories, once someone is found to successfully navigate the system.”

[….]

Robert Law at CIS https://cis.org/Law

Top Republicans on the House’s Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees have demanded secret briefings on what went wrong, calling it a “sophisticated insider threat.”

[….]

Mr. Law, now director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, said he expects more revelations about the extent of the fraud.

“What’s being currently reported as being uncovered is potentially just the beginning,” he said.

He also said the scam should be a caution to the Biden administration as it seeks to unwind former President Donald Trump’s strict vetting of refugees and other foreign arrivals.

There is more, continue reading here.

I have an extensive archive at RRW on the special immigrant visa program for Iraq and Afghanistan (a Ted Kennedy gift to America).  To learn more go here.

 

***For Readers unfamiliar with the US Refugee Admissions Program these are the nine federal refugee contractors who worked to put Biden and Harris in the White House and are lobbying for millions of illegal aliens to be transformed into legal voting citizens, as well as raising the refugee admissions ceiling from 15,000 this year to 125,000.

These nine contractors are largely responsible for choosing where to place special immigrant visa holders from Iraq and Afghanistan. During the Trump years regular refugee numbers were low, especially from Muslim countries. However, the SIVs coming in afforded the contractors paying work as their numbers did not decline at least in the early years of the Trump administration.

These nine fake charities (really quasi-government agencies) are paid by you, the taxpayer, for their work of changing America by changing the people, and in so doing, are putting Americans last!

And, to add insult to injury, the CONTRACTORS are jumping for joy because Biden has promised to get rid of Trump’s extreme vetting.

 

Boonsboro, MD: Black Lives Matter and Leftists’ Dirty Tricks

Earlier this year Dan’s Restaurant and Taphouse became the central organizing location for Black Lives Matter in Washington County, Maryland.

Update below!

Boonsboro, Maryland is a small rural town in conservative Western Maryland. It is near where I live and for the last 35 years I’ve visited friends there, gone to doctor’s appointments there and shopped in its small shopping plaza. It is a town where one could live a peaceful life—until now.

….Until a few obviously Leftwing activists associated with internationally famous and now wealthy author Nora Roberts (whose birth name was Eleanor Marie Robertson), began a campaign in support of Black Lives Matter.

Charlotte Aufdem-Brinke told interviewer Bernadette Wagner that she wanted to see “progressive change come to Washington County” saying she was modeling for her children. Watch the whole interview beginning at the 22:40 mark here: https://primetime4women.com/show-10-in-season-2-with-marie-hawse-and-charlotte-aufdem-brinke/

In June, after George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, Roberts’ daughter-in-law, a co-owner of Dan’s  Restaurant & Taphouse, Charlotte Aufdem-Brinke and the restaurant became the central location for Black Lives Matter organizing.

(Aufdem-Brinke is Nora Roberts’ first married name. Charlotte’s present marital status to her son Dan is not clear and doesn’t matter.)

Fine and dandy, Ms. Aufdem-Brinke is free to voice her opinions, organize for Progressive causes, and model her political views for her children.

However, it is what happened next that has many in the community outraged.

She apparently was a lead organizer behind a billboard that was placed prominently in town funded via a GoFundMe account where Aufdem-Brinke is the first donor listed ($500).

(The image below is the ‘corrected’ second billboard as the first one credited “the people of Boonsboro” for paying for the billboard.)

 

If you want to read the Battle of the Billboards by controversial local agitator Ryan Miner, see it here  but just know that he calls local, long-time residents of the community “hayseeds,” and “Boonsboro’s finest happy-go-lucky hubcap shiners.”

Calling names is a universal trait it seems for Progressives pushing their agenda.

By the way, Miner was not always on the Left, but that is a story for another time.

This is what you really need to know—Progressive Dems cheat (duh!)!

Del. Parrott is a decent and honorable man, no wonder he would be surprised someone would play this dirty.

Aufdem-Brinke and fellow Progressives can put up all the billboards they desire, but somehow these Leftists who “model for their kids whose hearts are so pure” can’t seem to not cheat  as we learned in October when it was discovered that someone affiliated with Black Lives Matter and Nora Roberts’ daughter-in-law, listed well-known local conservative Republicans as donors to the billboard fundraising campaign including 2020 Republican Congressional candidate Neil Parrott founder of the Hagerstown Tea Party.

From the Herald Mail less than two weeks before the November election:

Several Washington County Republicans’ names falsely listed as supporting BLM fundraiser

Several prominent Washington County Republicans say they have been falsely associated with donating to a Black Lives Matter fundraiser.

Washington County Republican Chair Jerry DeWolf sent an email Thursday morning to Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore stating he and several others were fraudulently listed as donors on a GoFundMe fundraiser to put up a Black Live Matter billboard near Boonsboro. He requested the sheriff’s office begin an investigation into the fundraiser organizers and “others who may have participated in this fraud.”

The email also was sent to The Herald-Mail, Maryland Republican Party Chair Dirk Haire and Maryland Republican Party Executive Director Corine Frank.

In DeWolf’s email, he said he assumed the act was a “politically motivated attack designed to harass and intimidate,” and he would “personally be interested in pressing the maximum charges available should (the sheriff’s) office find it warranted to do so.”

Of course, the sheriff found nothing criminal. Didn’t this raise identity fraud legal questions?  (We have a weak sheriff here in Washington County.)

Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, who is a candidate to represent Maryland’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House, was listed as donating $50. He said Friday the donation was not made by him. He said he was made aware of the donation in his name and was surprised that someone would do that.

We must get it through our heads that playing dirty, cheating and lying is how the Left plays this game!  The stolen 2020 Presidential election is a prime example of how far they will go.

Others listed as donors have confirmed the legitimacy of their donations, such as Charlotte Aufdem-Brinke, co-owner of Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse. Aufdem-Brinke, who was the first donor listed, said Thursday that the donation for $500 was legitimate.***

Aufdem-Brinke said she liked the fundraiser’s message, saying it aligned with the Taphouse’s stance on inclusivity and ending a “hateful mindset.”

More here.

Message to local readers:  No “hayseeds,” as Aufdem-Brinke’s pal Ryan Miner calls you, should spend a single dime at Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse in Boonsboro, Maryland. 

Message to national readers:  GoFundMe can easily be manipulated by devious Dems who appear to have no moral compass and who obviously believe that the ends justify the means.

***See the GoFundMe account for the Boonsboro Black Lives Matter billboard and see who the legitimate donors are (after the Republicans were able to remove their names).  How many are actually from Boonsboro?

I’ve created a whole new category here at Frauds & Crooks that I am calling Leftists’ Dirty Tricks.  It appears I will need it going forward.

Update!

Is this what the good folks of Boonsboro are supporting.  This happened in Washington DC yesterday:

Nigerian Fraud Ring at Work Ripping Off America Again

As our Chinese virus-generated economic collapse continues, helping to move that process along, the Secret Service is investigating a complex Nigerian fraud scheme to rip us off using the unemployment assistance meant for Americans who have lost their jobs.

Several states have been hit so far by the “sophisticated” attack, but authorities believe the hit will become more widespread.

Nigerian fraudsters have played a major role on the pages of ‘Frauds and Crooks.’  See my Nigeria tag!

From the New York Times:

Feds Suspect Vast Fraud Network Is Targeting U.S. Unemployment Systems

 

SEATTLE — A group of international fraudsters appears to have mounted an immense, sophisticated attack on U.S. unemployment systems, creating a network that has already siphoned millions of dollars in payments that were intended to avert an economic collapse, according to federal authorities.

The attackers have used detailed information about U.S. citizens, such as social security numbers that may have been obtained from cyber hacks of years past, to file claims on behalf of people who have not been laid off, officials said. The attack has exploited state unemployment systems at a time when they are straining to process a crush of claims from an employment crisis unmatched since the Great Depression.

Suzi LeVine

With many states rushing to pay claims, payments have gone straight to direct-deposit accounts. In Washington State, the agency tasked with managing unemployment claims there began realizing the extent of the problem in recent days when still-employed people called to question why they had received confirmation paperwork in the mail.

“This is a gut punch,” said Suzi LeVine, the commissioner of Washington State’s Employment Security Department.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, investigators from the U.S. Secret Service said they had information suggesting that the scheme was coming from a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring and could result in “potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” Roy Dotson, a special agent who specializes in financial fraud at the Secret Service, said in an interview investigators were still working to pinpoint who was involved and exactly where they were.

[….]

Mr. Dotson said it appeared the fraud was being aided by a substantial number of “mules” — people, often in the United States, who were used as intermediaries for money laundering after making connections with fraudsters online. He warned people to be wary of quick-money job offers or other suspicious financial arrangements.

The Secret Service memo said Washington State had emerged as the primary target thus far, but there was also evidence of attacks in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The agency warned that every state was vulnerable and could be targeted, noting that the attackers appeared to have extensive records of personally identifiable information, or P.I.I.

[….]

Ms. LeVine said she did not want to put a number on the losses so far in Washington State but believed it was in the millions of dollars.

More here.

One more reason that the Trump Administration should be praised for making it harder for Nigerians to get into the US!

Stopping Fraud Against Seniors a Top Priority for the Attorney General

Keep this number handy!

AG Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced this week that an unprecedented number of cases of fraud against senior Americans have been charged or prosecuted and announced a hotline where you can report suspected fraud and help them catch more of the crooks, often foreign crooks, stealing from older Americans.

From CBS News  (good for them because I have seen very little elsewhere about this story from Tuesday):

Barr announces more than 400 charged for defrauding seniors over past year

Washington — More than 400 people have been charged with defrauding seniors out of more than $1 billion over the past year, the Justice Department revealed Tuesday. Attorney General William Barr announced the charges in Tampa on Tuesday at the Sun City Center Community Hall for seniors.

Barr explained why this issue has personal meaning for him. “I myself was used as a lure in a scam,” the attorney general told retirees. Before he became the nation’s 85th attorney general, the 1991 official photograph of Barr from his first stint in in the job in George H.W. Bush’s administration was used by scammers offering phony federal grants in exchange for money. “It was really heart-wrenching. People called in desperate hope that this was real,” Barr explained. “That crystalized the issue for me, and when I got to the department I wanted to make sure that this was one of our highest priorities to go after this.”

Fraud ring busted in 2019. https://qz.com/africa/1693540/fbi-bust-of-nigerian-email-fraud-shows-evolving-scam-tactics/

[….]

Barr has made elder fraud one of his top priorities as attorney general, and Tuesday’s announcement nearly doubles last year’s prosecutions.

Every U.S. attorney’s office across the country participated in either prosecuting or conducting proactive community outreach as part of the department’s sweep.

[….]

Scams targeting the elderly are usually foreign-based, like the “Nigerian prince” scheme or robocalls involving the impersonation of a U.S. government official who demands money from targets.

“The charges announced today demonstrate the great success of the Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force to identify and stop those who are targeting our senior communities from overseas,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray in a statement. “We’re committed to continuing our efforts to keep our elderly citizens safe, whether they’re being targeted door-to-door, over the phone, or online.”

More here.

And, see the FBI Press Release on the announcement which includes a link to an interactive US map so you can see where some of the 400 cases are being prosecuted.

As I have said on innumerable occasions the President should be highlighting this fraud-busting work of his Justice Department, like this Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force , at every one of his rallies.

 

Note to PayPal donors!  I want to thank all of you who send me donations for my work via PayPal. I very much appreciate your thoughtfulness. However, PayPal is making changes to their terms of service and I’ve decided to opt-out beginning on March 10, 2020.

Michigan Mayor Indicted! Committed Bribery and Wire Fraud, Say the Feds

“Public corruption at any level undermines the community’s faith in their elected officials and does long-term damage to government institutions.”

(Steven D’Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the FBI)

 

The Mayor, along with his pals, allegedly used his elected office and campaign funds to enrich himself.

From the US Justice Department just before Christmas:

MAYOR OF TAYLOR AND TWO OTHERS INDICTED FOR BRIBERY AND FRAUD

A thirty-three count Indictment unsealed today charges City of Taylor Mayor Richard “Rick” Sollars, businessman Shady Awad, and Taylor Community Development Manager Jeffrey Baum with conspiracy to commit bribery in a scheme spanning from 2015 to 2019, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced. The Indictment also charges Sollars and Awad with seven counts of bribery each, and charges Sollars and Baum with 18 counts of Wire Fraud.

According to the Indictment, Sollars helped Awad’s real estate development company Realty Transition LLC obtain scores of tax-foreclosed properties owned by the City of Taylor. In return, Awad lavished Sollars with thousands of dollars in cash and over $30,000 in renovations to Sollars’s home, over $11,000 in renovations to Sollars’s lake house, and over $12,000 in new household appliances.

Alleged co-conspirator Shady Awad chit-chatting with Democrat Mayor Sollars. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2019/12/19/feds-indict-taylor-mayor-sollars-bribery-scandal/2698426001/

 

The appliances included a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, a $1,600 cigar humidor, a vacuum cleaner, and a clothes washer and dryer. The free renovations provided to Sollars by Awad include hardwood floors on every level of Sollars’s Taylor residence, hardwood floors at the lake house, a garage door, a new front door, cabinets, and a refurbished lake house deck.

The Indictment also alleges that Jeffrey Baum received bribes from Awad and another developer, in exchange for Baum’s help in obtaining tax-foreclosed properties from the City.

Sollar’s vacation home!

Text messages between Sollars, Awad, and Baum cited throughout the Indictment document the bribe scheme. In one text, Awad states as follows: “My relationship with Rick is worth $1 million so whatever it takes I’ll pay for it” in telling a contractor to do free work on Sollars’s lake house.

The Indictment also charges Sollars and Baum with 18 counts of Wire Fraud, alleging that Sollars and Baum defrauded donors to Sollars’s campaign fund in three ways. First, Sollars would take checks from his campaign account and write them payable to a particular market, purporting to pay for catering for one of Sollars’s events. Instead, the market owner would cash the campaign checks and give the cash back to Sollars, with no catering provided. Second, Sollars and Baum would direct Sollars’s supporters to write checks directly to the market for events that never occurred. Sollars would get cash and scratch-off lottery tickets from the market owner. Third, Sollars and Baum would solicit and accept thousands of dollars in cash contributions to Sollars’s campaign. Instead of depositing the funds into his campaign account, Sollars would simply keep the cash and use it for personal expenses.

The Indictment also seeks forfeiture of $205,993 in cash seized from Sollars’s home on February 10, 2019.

FBI provides readers with contact information if you suspect fraud or corruption with your local elected officials!

“Any time an allegation of corruption is brought to our attention, the FBI’s Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force will investigate it thoroughly. Public corruption at any level undermines the community’s faith in their elected officials and does long-term damage to government institutions,” said SAC D’Antuono. “With that in mind, we encourage anyone who believes they have information about corruption to contact the FBI at 313-965-4545 or tips.fbi.gov.”

More details here.

I know I haven’t done a scientific analysis, but heck it sure seems that a very high percentage of my ‘Frauds and Crooks’ stories originate in Michigan!

 

For new readers:  If you are interested in the issue of Refugee Resettlement (Michigan is a leading state that ‘welcomes’ more impoverished people), visit my other blog Refugee Resettlement Watch where I have been spending a lot of time in recent weeks.