IMMIGRATION LAWYER AND TWO OTHERS CHARGED IN MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT WITH PARTICIPATING IN INTERNATIONAL SMUGGLING RING

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
U.S. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
AUGUST 16, 2011 ELLEN DAVIS, CARLY SULLIVAN,

Defendants Allegedly Helped Smuggle Over 450 Aliens Into The
United States
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and JAMES T. HAYES, JR., the
Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“ICE
HSI”), today announced charges against HAK TUNG LAM, an
immigration attorney who practiced in lower Manhattan, and two
others, WEN WO LAM and YING YANG, for their participation in an
international alien smuggling ring. The defendants allegedly
served as legal advisors to alien smugglers by recommending ports
of entry, advising on methods of avoiding detection, filing false
immigration documents, and obtaining the release of detained
aliens through fraud. All three defendants were arrested this
morning.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “For Hak
Tung Lam, zealous representation of his clients –- a group of
international alien smugglers –- allegedly meant assisting them
in breaking the law. He and his co-defendants were allegedly
responsible for facilitating a smuggling operation that brought
hundreds of illegal aliens into this country and for preserving
their phony legal status once they arrived. The profits were
big, but the price they will now pay, if convicted, is much
higher.”
ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge JAMES T. HAYES, JR.
said: “As an officer of the court, Hak Tung Lam swore to uphold
the laws and constitution of the United States. Instead, he used
his training and education to allegedly perpetrate one of the
most wide-ranging criminal fraud schemes that this office has
ever investigated solely for his personal financial gain. ICE
HSI will continue to pursue those individuals who seek to take
advantage of this country’s legal immigration system for their
own benefit and at the expense of others.”
According to the Complaint and other documents filed in
Manhattan federal court:
From October 2006 to February 2009, HAK TUNG LAM
allegedly worked with others to smuggle approximately 468 Chinese
nationals into the United States. During that time, LAM provided
legal and logistical advice to alien smugglers and made false
immigration filings on behalf of the smuggled aliens. He earned
close to $1 million for his participation in this smuggling ring.
Earlier this summer, LAM was caught in an HSI undercover
operation, providing advice to and making false filings for an
individual working for HSI whom LAM believed was in the business
of alien smuggling. WEN WO LAM and YING YANG allegedly assisted
LAM by, among other things, providing advice, collecting money,
and coaching the aliens on what lies to include in their
immigration filings.
* * *
HAK TUNG LAM, 44, of Flushing, New York, WEN WO LAM,
43, of Staten Island, New York, and YING YANG, 30, of Flushing,
New York, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit
alien smuggling. HAK TUNG LAM is also charged with one count of
alien smuggling. On the conspiracy count, each defendant faces a
maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. On the substantive
count, HAK TUNG LAM faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in
prison.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of ICE HSI
in this case. He added that the investigation is continuing.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Organized
Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys JUSTIN ANDERSON, JASON A.
MASIMORE, and SARAH KRISSOFF are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty.
11-247 ###
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