Three employees of a Reno-based immigration consulting firm were arrested Friday on state criminal charges following an investigation into allegations they orchestrated a multi-state scam that included impersonating employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The defendants, who worked for a company called Telestaffing, allegedly told clients they were USCIS employees and could assist them with obtaining and completing immigration forms and filing them with USCIS. The group used a fee schedule identical to the fees posted by USCIS. However, because Telestaffing failed to file many of those forms in a timely fashion, some of the company’s clients actually lost their legal immigration status.
Telestaffing, which was doing business under several names including - Immigration Forms; Immigration Forms Processing Center; Immigration Forms and Services; Immigration Forms and Documents; USA-Helpline.Info; and Immigration Helpline - duplicated electronic checks for its services without authority, resulting in a double payment for the filing. In some cases, Telestaffing clients who paid by money order or other means found the defendants either refused to file the benefit forms with USCIS or did nothing and kept the money.