A Montgomery Township Attorney Arrested for Filing Fraudulent Asylum Papers for Foreign Nationals
By Barbara A. Preston | February 24, 2022
The United State Justice Department announced on Wednesday the arrest of a Montgomery Township attorney for encouraging clients to apply for asylum under fraudulent pretenses.
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger stated that Steven Gordon Thomas, 52, associated with Thomas & Thomas LLC located on Cherry Valley Road by Yorkshire Woods, allegedly made false statements in visa applications on behalf of his clients.
Thomas's office at 181 Cherry Valley Road.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: Thomas "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," according to the press release from the US Justice Department.
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, according the press release.
Thomas lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni on Wednesday afternoon to answer to the complaint of preparing and filing false visa applications on behalf of clients.
Article continues after ad from our sponsor.
The Justice Department 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.