Chicago attorney indicted on federal immigration fraud charges

A Chicago attorney was indicted on federal charges for providing fraudulent information to U.S. authorities to benefit his foreign national clients.

From 2013 to 2020, Mohammad Reza Baniassadi and two of his firm's employees knowingly gave false information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to provide immigration benefits to his clients, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois.

Baniassadi allegedly helped his clients "cheat on oral civics exams, falsified claims of spousal abuse purportedly suffered by clients, and fabricated job offers from U.S. companies," officials said.

Baniassadi, 65, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and five counts of falsifying applications for immigration benefits. Each count of falsifying immigration applications is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Officials said Baniassadi is considered a fugitive and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.