June 8, 2004 – LAWFUEL – An Indian national was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for orchestrating an elaborate scheme in which he impersonated an immigration agent and attempted to kidnap and “deport” a San Bernardino woman.
Harpal Singh, 34, of Diamond Bar, received the 10-year sentence this morning after pleading guilty in February to attempted kidnapping. Singh was sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson in Los Angeles.
As part of his plot, Singh intended to arrest the woman and force her to return to her native India. Judge Anderson today found that the woman had suffered emotional and physical abuse from Singh, and because of that the Judge sentenced Singh at the high end of the sentencing guideline range.
The investigation began when the Pomona Police Department received a tip that Singh was plotting to kidnap the woman. As a result of this information, a legitimate agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) went undercover and was recruited to become part of the plot. Singh told the ICE agent that he was conducting a marriage fraud investigation targeting the 34-year-old woman. Singh instructed the undercover agent how to dress, how to conduct a marriage fraud interview and how to make an arrest. He even furnished the undercover agent with a set of handcuffs.
On December 28, 2003, Singh, the undercover ICE agent and others co-operating with government investigators went to the woman’s house to “arrest” her. As part of the plot, Singh wanted the woman taken to Los Angeles International Airport and flown to India. Instead, Singh was arrested.
This case is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.