Immigration consultation firm CEO sentenced for fraud
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The head of an immigration consultation firm that provided fraudulent documents involving sham marriages is now headed to prison.
Federal prosecutors say 36-year-old Maxwell Poku, of Union, received a two-year sentence on Friday. He also will forfeit $10,500, and computer media and equipment seized from the business when he was arrested in August 2012.
A naturalized United States citizen from Ghana, Poku had pleaded guilty to immigration fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Poku admitted helping numerous people get immigration benefits they were not entitled to by filing documents that falsely reflected they were married to United States citizens.
Poku admitted paying people to act as sham spouses and providing fraudulent letters of employment, utility bills, credit card statements, W-2 forms and tax return transcripts, which he downloaded and altered.
Poku was president and chief executive officer of Max$Max Finance and Travel LLC, which had offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Orange, New Jersey and Ghana.
The money laundering count arose from a separate scheme in which Poku came into possession of a $115,138 tax refund check that was issued as a result of a fraudulent return.
Poku admitted he incorporated a business entity in New Jersey and opened a bank account under the firm’s name, then deposited the refund check into the account. But the money was recovered by law enforcement before it could be withdrawn.