According to court documents, Amankwaa, along with his son Kofi Amankwaa Jr. and associates Sylvester Boateng, Nana Adoma Kontoh, and Betty Smith, orchestrated an illegal scheme that scammed vulnerable immigrants, resulting in financial loss, deportations, and denied Green Card applications.
US-based Ghanaian lawyer, son, and others in court for massive immigration scam
Kofi Amankwaa, a Ghanaian immigration lawyer based in New York, is at the centre of a massive immigration scam that has led to significant losses for the state and thousands of unsuspecting clients.
The court papers reveal that Amankwaa and his associates allegedly charged immigrant clients exorbitant amounts of money for fraudulent services, claiming to secure Green Cards for them. Simultaneously, the group submitted separate petitions under the Violence Against Women Act, falsely accusing the clients' children of abuse to facilitate immigration applications.
The New York State Attorney General is seeking up to 15 years in jail for Kofi Amankwaa and his associates for these offences, as stated in court documents referenced by the New York Post. US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, commented that the father and son team "sought to make a mockery of the US immigration system."
"Amankwaa and his son allegedly exploited the Violence Against Women Act for their own financial gain," Williams said in a statement.
New York lawmaker Catalina Cruz, Esq., who reported the case, expressed outrage, stating that the actions of the group amounted to defrauding the government and stealing the American dream of families. She emphasized that the illegal activities led to the deportation of families who sought Amankwaa's assistance in applying for immigration through legal channels.
"This is so far from the actual truth. His egregious acts resulted in the deportation of families who went to him looking to apply the so-called 'right way.' He defrauded the government, the families, and stole their American dream," Cruz posted on social media.
The New York social services website linked Amankwaa to Ghana, noting that he was a student of a major public university located in the capital. The lawsuit aims to halt the defendants' illegal activities, seeking restitution and damages for affected customers, along with civil penalties to the state.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has also filed a parallel criminal action against Mr. Amankwaa and Kofi Amankwaa Jr., charging them with a large-scale immigration fraud scheme.
Attorney General James emphasized the importance of protecting vulnerable communities and holding accountable those who exploit and defraud immigrants seeking legal assistance. The investigation revealed a pattern of fraudulent conduct, including knowingly filing false petitions without informing clients, resulting in deportations and denied green cards.
The lawsuit further alleges that Nana Adoma Kontoh misrepresented herself as an attorney, providing unlawful legal advice and encouraging clients to lie to immigration officials. Kofi Amankwaa Jr. was accused of providing legal advice despite not being admitted to practice law in New York.
Attorney General James urges individuals who believe they may have been victims of fraud to report complaints through the office's complaint form or by calling 1-800-771-7755.
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