An Irving immigration lawyer accused of forging visa applications for unauthorized immigrants pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to one of the seven counts against her.
Sherin Thawer, 45, of Coppell, admitted to a charge of aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
She had been facing a seven-count indictment, charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud for immigration documents, one count of mail fraud, one count of transfer or use of the means of identification of another person and four counts of aggravated identity theft.
Thawer is in custody after a judge revoked her conditions of release in June. Prosecutors said she continued to practice law in violation of her release. They said she helped a client apply for a green card renewal and did not tell him she could not practice law.
With her plea, Thawer admitted that in March 2012 she used a police officer’s name and badge number to fill out paperwork she submitted with a Visa application.
“She knew the officer had not completed the form and that his signature on the form was forged,” court records said.
Thawer represented immigrants applying for visas to enter or remain in the U.S., officials said. Those included petitions for U Nonimmigrant Status, known as a U-Visa.
To qualify for a U-Visa, an immigrant must have been a victim of certain types of crime and helped law enforcement with an investigation or prosecution. An applicant must submit a form completed by the law enforcement agency that worked on the case.
From March 2012 to September 2014, Thawer submitted forged law enforcement certification forms to get U-Visas for immigrants she represented, authorities said. The forms had the names, badge numbers and signatures of police officers who worked for departments in Fort Worth, DeSoto and Irving, according to the indictment.
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