Wednesday, July 10, 2019 | 1:47 p.m.
A grand jury indicted a Las Vegas man on charges that he stole individuals identities and then submitted false documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to withdraw or cancel those individuals’ applications for permanent resident status, officials said.
Arash Vakshouri, 40, faces seven counts of submitting false documents and a single count of aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The grand jury, sitting in New Haven, Conn., returned the indictment on May 8 and Vakshouri was arrested in Las Vegas last month. He appeared before a magistrate judge Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges, officials said.
According to the indictment, Vakshouri sent seven fraudulent letters in 2017 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Connecticut in which he pretended to be two individuals who had applied for legal resident status a year earlier.
Both the victims, the indictment reads, were from Iran.
The letters contained the name of the victims, along with their passport numbers, application numbers and alien file numbers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The letters sent by Vakshouri to immigration serves requested that the applications for permanent resident status be canceled or withdrawn, according to the authorities.
Authorities have not said what motivated Vakshouri to pose as these victims and attempt to have their applications withdrawn or canceled.
Vakshouri, who was released on $50,000 bail, faces up to five years each on the charges of submitting false documents and two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Manchester police investigated the matter.