An imposter attorney from Queens has been indicted for fraud, by posing as an attorney and providing immigration services and advice, and selling a forged Social Security card
The defendant, Robert Mangieri, 68, of Richmond Hill and Kunkletown, Pa., has been indicted on charges of scheme to defraud, grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and practicing or appearing as an attorney-at-law without being admitted and registered.
The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between December 2003 and September 2008.
The investigation leading to the indictment and arrest revealed that Mangieri operated Mangieri & Associates, with offices at 3001 Broadway in Astoria and 8260 116th Street in Richmond Hill. Mangieri purported to offer assistance with applications and petitions pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
The investigation further revealed that a victim sought help from Mangieri to file appropriate paperwork to remain and work legally in the United States. After charging the victim several hundred dollars and assuring her his fee was lower than one she could expect from other attorneys, Mangieri allegedly guided her through the filing of several applications with USCIS, including an application for employment authorization.
Prosecutors said Mangieri sent USCIS the victim’s employment authorization application directly, along with a letter written on paper bearing the letterhead Hon. Robert P. Mangieri and signed the Hon. Robert P. Mangieri. USCIS denied the victim’s application for work authorization. The victim, who was in the United States on a visitor’s visa, did not qualify for employment authorization, as she did not have an application for a green card pending with USCIS.
After the victim’s application for employment authorization was denied, Mangieri offered to and ultimately did procure a forged Social Security card with the victim’s Tax Identification Number on it. During the process of applying to USCIS and after several applications had been denied, Mangieri asked for more money, and the victim doubted him. To win back her trust, Mangieri allegedly showed the victim what appeared to be a badge, thereby adding to the impression Mangieri had already created that he was a retired judge or a law enforcement official. In total, the victim paid Mangieri approximately $1,300 for his services and for fees he claimed were required for filing applications with USCIS.
Mangieri allegedly gave the victim a business card bearing the name “Robert P. Mangieri” above the words “Juris Doctor.” It also says “Mangieri & Associates,” provides a P.O. Box and a telephone number, and bears an image of the scales of justice.
When Mangieri offered to procure the Social Security card, the victim contacted Emerald Isle Immigration Center in the Bronx, which referred her to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Immigrant Affairs Program.
Mangieri is not a licensed attorney. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) confirmed that Mangieri is not an accredited representative authorized to represent clients before USCIS or the immigration courts.
USCIS confirmed that Mangieri was involved in filing other applications or the representation of other victims before USCIS. Those applications were also denied.