English-language schools used as fronts
LOS ANGELES - Behzad "Ben" Zaman was handed a two-year prison term and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for using English-language schools he ran as fronts for Russian prostitutes and other ineligible foreigners to obtain student visas.
Behzad "Ben" Zaman, 52, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles last February to visa fraud, conspiracy and other federal charges.
A naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran, Zaman operated the Concord English Language Center and the International College for English Studies, both on Wilshire Boulevard near downtown.
Prosecutors said Zaman, in exchange for cash payments, helped ineligible foreign nationals fraudulently obtain student visas.
"This flagrant violation of our immigration laws shows how greed can compromise our national security,'' then-U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said at the time of Zaman's April 2008 arrest.
"We welcome legitimate students who want to take advantage of educational opportunities in America,'' he said then. "We do not welcome individuals posing as students who have no intention of studying and who simply want to gain access to this country.''
Federal prosecutors said Zaman collected payments from Uzbekistan and Latvian nationals, and that some of the bogus students were prostitutes.
Records indicated the schools had 1,000 students in 2008, "a number that far exceeded their physical capacity and was not supported by investigators' observations of people actually attending classes,'' according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Along with the federal prison term and fine, U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer ordered Zaman to serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennise Willett said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement received a 212-month prison term today for taking nearly $500,000 in bribes from immigrants who were promised benefits allowing them to remain in the United States.
ICE Assistant Chief Counsel Constantine Peter Kallas, 40, of Alta Loma, was also ordered to pay $296,865 in restitution for fraudulently receiving workers' compensation benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The California NAACP State Conference and its affiliated branches recently participated with other NAACP chapters nationwide in press conferences lending support to an initiative pushing the bipartisan National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010. If this new law, which was already passed in the House of Representatives, is passed in the Senate (and obtains the necessary funding), it will enact a review of America’s criminal justice system and present recommendations for reform.
LOS ANGELES - The owner of Amadeus Salon Inc., in Pasadena, a spa and salon, faces trial in October on federal charges that he embezzled thousands of dollars from his employees' profit-sharing plan.
Joseph Wong of Rowland Heights, president and owner of Amadeus Salon Inc., was indicted by a Los Angeles federal grand jury on Sept. 3, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The eight-count indictment alleges that Wong embezzled from an employee benefit plan covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, commonly known as ERISA.
Television and movie producer Norman Lear will receive a lifetime achievement award May 22 at the Playboy Mansion for his defense of values embodied by the Bill of Rights, the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation announced today.
The awards, begun in 1979 by Christie Hefner, honor people who help protect and enhance First Amendment rights in journalism, government, book publishing and education.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Note to procrastinators: Today is the deadline to file your taxes, so a handful of local post offices will be staying open late to ensure you can get them in the mail.
Three postal centers will be staying open until midnight to collect mail:
• in Los Angeles, at 7001 S. Central Ave.;
• in Santa Ana, at 3101 W. Sunflower Ave; and
• in Santa Clarita, at 28201 Franklin Parkway.