In a far too common storyline, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. is using a press release as his sword to tell the tale of a 28 year old man alleged to have defrauded at least a half a dozen Haitian men and women in an immigration scam. According to prosecutors, Marc Payen either claimed he was associated with the United Nations (UN) or was an immigration attorney who could assist Haitian immigrants with obtain residency through green cards or other documents. It is alleged that between 2009 and 2010, Mr. Payen defrauded these people out of $12,500 while never assisting them in legalizing or obtaining proper status in the United States. When these people asked for confirmation or receipts it is alleged that Mr. Payen provided fraudulent United States Citizenship and Immigration Services forms. Compounding matters, despite Mr. Payen’s alleged legal work, Mr. Payen was and is not an attorney.
A 23 count indictment charged Mr. Payen with crimes including Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law. Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree are each “D” felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison while Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and the Unauthorized Practice of Law are both “E” felonies punishable by up to four years in state prison.
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