An attorney operating a law firm in Somerset County was charged on Feb. 23 for allegedly making false statements in visa applications.
Steven G. Thomas, 52, of New Hope, Pennsylvania, is charged by complaint with preparing and filing false visa applications on behalf of clients, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
He was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni later in the day on Feb. 23, as of press time.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Thomas, who operates a law firm in Montgomery Township, allegedly encouraged clients to apply for asylum under fraudulent pretenses. He advised clients regarding the manner in which they were most likely to obtain asylum, knowing that these clients did not legitimately qualify for asylum, according to the allegations. Thomas also reportedly prepared, or caused to be prepared, on behalf of those clients, fraudulent applications and affidavits, which were submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
A confidential informant working for law enforcement met with Thomas in January 2020. Thomas filed on that person’s behalf a visa application containing numerous false statements in April 2020, according to the statement.