Myrtle Beach, SC (WLTX) - Eleven men are in federal custody following their arrest Wednesday in Myrtle Beach by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The men were attempting to fraudulently acquire immigration documents according to Bill Nettles, US Attorney district of South Carolina.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office for South Carolina have charged the men, 10 from Israel and one from Kenya, for knowingly conspiring with each other to procure by fraud resident alien and employment authorization documents.
The defendants, none of whom are from South Carolina, are accused of travelling to Myrtle Beach to meet with who they thought was a corrupt U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service employee.
The men are alleged to have paid the supposedly corrupt employee varying amounts of money, typically $5,000 or $6,000, for the valid immigration documents.
Following the arrest operation, HSI special agents seized more than $120,000 from the defendants.
"Defending the integrity of our immigration system is a key component of our national security system," said Brock. D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of HSI Atlanta. "Those who seek to corrupt our system must be swiftly identified and brought to justice."
The individuals arrested are charged under a criminal indictment, which raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defendants are the following:
• Nevo Yosef Katzav
• Amir Arpally
• Assi David Nishri
• Einan Salach
• Idan Oren
• Omri Lipman
• Anat Bor
• Florence Tiego
• Lior Shriki
• Amos Shmilovich
• Eran Kol