Hardev Panesar Kenya Born NRI/PIO, faces 20 years Jail on multi-million-dollar immigration fraud
He agreed to pay back $2.5 million to the victims
San Diego, February 22, 2019
On February 21, Hardev Panesar, 70, born in Kenya, a Nigerian passport holder who speaks five languages, admitted that he was running immigration-fraud scheme that tricked more than 100 victims out of millions of dollars based on false claims that they could secure immigration status in the United States.
Panesar pleaded guilty to all counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, four counts of false impersonation of a federal officer, and one count of structuring financial transactions. Panesar also pleaded guilty to a separate count of failing to appear in court, resulting from his decision “jump bail” and flee to Mexico in June 2018, where he remained a fugitive for two months.
Five years, from 2012-2017, 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.
- He 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.
- 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 $2.5 million in restitution to his many victims
As part of the plea agreement, Panesar agreed to pay approximately $2.5 million in restitution to his many victims.
- On June 21, 2018, he fled to Tijuana, Mexico, the day before a hearing scheduled in this case. Panesar remained a fugitive, hiding in Mexico, until August 13, 2018, when he was arrested by Mexican authorities and expelled back to the United States.
- Panesar has been in custody ever since, pending trial.
Man at center of $1.5 million immigration fraud prosecution flees to Mexico, possibly with Nigerian passport
June 28, 2018
A San Diego County man facing trial on accusations of posing as a federal agent to bilk unauthorized immigrants out of at least $1.5 million is on the run.
Hardev Singh Mohan Singh Panesar, 70, cut off his GPS ankle bracelet last week and fled to Mexico, according to court documents.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and his wife is now facing a federal charge of making false statements after she admitted to lying about his whereabouts, according to court records.
Panesar could be a difficult man to track down.
He is a Sikh born in Kenya who speaks five languages, has frequently used aliases and is accused of being a chronic liar, authorities said. During the yearlong FBI wiretap investigation, he was recorded telling someone that then-President Barack Obama had given him a jacket during a meeting. When he was arrested, he initially claimed he was a National Security Agency agent, a prosecutor said.