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2 arrested in immigration-fraud investigation

September 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two men were arrested Wednesday on charges of immigration fraud, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The arrests were made by agents from ICE and from Homeland Security Investigation.

San Gabriel resident Haoren Ma, 47, the owner of New Arrival Immigration Service, was arrested at his residence Wednesday.

San Gabriel resident Minghan Dong, 55, was arrested at New Arrival Immigration Service's San Gabriel office.

The two men are charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court with immigration benefit fraud and failing to disclose their role as preparers on the asylum applications, according to ICE.

The two men allegedly charged $3,500 to $6,500 to prepare and file fraudulent asylum applications, according to ICE. The fraudulent filings claimed their clients, Chinese nationals, fled China to escape harassment for being Christians. Two applicants were Buddhists.

The defendants have been linked to more than 800 asylum applications, according to Homeland Security.

The two men were to be arraigned Thursday.

If convicted, the two men face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

The investigation remained ongoing.

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