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Los Angeles Paralegal to Plead Guilty to Fraudulently Obtain U.S. Residency for Philippine Church Members

Posted by John Rogers | Apr 04, 2022

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release, a Los Angeles defendant admitted to participating in a conspiracy to violate U.S. immigration laws by preparing and filing fraudulent documents that sought legal permanent residency and citizenship for members of a Philippines-based church who worked as fundraisers for a bogus charity operated by the church.

Maria De Leon admitted in a plea agreement that she was the owner of Liberty Legal Document Services and participated in a scheme with administrators of the church, which is known as the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name. Further to pleading guilty, De Leon agreed to cooperate in the government's case.

De Leon is one of nine defendants who were charged last year in a 42-count grand jury indictment that alleges a labor trafficking scheme that used fraudulently obtained visas to bring members of a church to the United States, where they were forced to solicit donations for a bogus charity. The indictment further alleges that the donations were used to finance church operations and the lavish lifestyles of its leaders.

De Leon faces a statutory maximum of five years in federal prison.

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John Rogers

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