Panesar also pleaded guilty to a separate count of failing to appear in court, resulting from his decision to jump bail and flee to Mexico in June 2018, where he remained a fugitive for two months.
According to his plea agreement, Panesar admitted that from at least 2012 through May 2017, he defrauded immigrants and aliens by inducing them to pay money to him based on fraudulent claims that he and his co-conspirators could obtain legal status in the United States for the victims and their families.
Panesar managed to defraud the victims by, in part, impersonating an official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and claiming that he had the power to stop deportation proceedings.
In order to trick his victims, Panesar repeatedly showed fake agency credentials, provided immigration applications, and took fingerprints of victims. He often demanded more money to speed up the process or guarantee the immigration documents by a certain date.
Panesar and his co-conspirators never delivered on their promise to provide immigration documents, despite collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims. As part of the plea agreement, Panesar agreed to pay approximately USD 2.5 million in restitution to his many victims.
He also admitted that in June 2018 he fled to Tijuana, Mexico, the day before a hearing scheduled in this case. Panesar remained a fugitive, hiding in Mexico, until August last year when he was arrested by Mexican authorities and expelled back to the United States. Panesar has been in custody ever since, pending trial.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.