A Dallas-area school district human resources executive was sentenced Monday by a U.S. District Judge to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $317,482 in restitution for falsifying immigration documents.
This sentence was announced by Texas Northern District U.S. Attorney John Parker. This case was jointly investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.
Victor Leos, 63, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty in May 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit false statements in connection with immigration documents. Leos was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Jan. 28, 2018.
“This school district human resources executive perpetrated a fraud on numerous overseas teachers, his school district and the U.S. government,” said Katrina W. Berger, special agent in charge of HSI Dallas. “He upended all these lives and perpetrated this fraud for the most selfish of reasons — personal profit. HSI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to identify and disrupt immigration benefit fraud and bring to justice those involved in these illegal schemes.”
“Today’s action shows that this former school official not only knowingly and willfully abused his position of trust for personal gain, but did so at the expense of the educational development of children. That is unacceptable,” said Neil Sanchez, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Southern Regional Office. “Deservedly, Mr. Leos will be held accountable for cheating Garland students and taxpayers.”
According to plea documents, Leos was employed by Garland Independent School District (GISD), located in Garland from 1998 to 2013. Leos was responsible for recruiting teachers from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Philippines to fill open teaching positions at GISD. From around 2007 to around 2012, Leos engaged in a criminal conspiracy with outside recruiters to recruit and hire foreign teachers that GISD did not necessarily need. Leos benefitted by receiving kickbacks in the form of inflated fees to teach orientation classes, travel and other forms of remuneration. After the foreign teachers were employed at GISD on H-1B temporary visas, Leos knew they were unlikely to qualify for Form 9089s (Applications for Permanent Employment Certification). To further the conspiracy, Leos knowingly signed and filed falsified Form 9089s with the Department of Labor (DOL) to sponsor the teachers for employment-based permanent resident applications.
Leos admitted that from Aug. 27, 2012, to Dec. 6, 2012, he signed and filed 38 Form 9089s for GISD in which he knowingly made false statements. In each Form 9089, Leos certified that all U.S. workers who applied for the job opening were rejected for lawful job-related reasons when Leos knew this was not the case. To support these false statements, Leos created recruitment reports which contained additional false statements regarding the number of U.S. applicants for the open positions and the reasons for the rejection of the U.S. applicants. Leos had these recruitment reports submitted to DOL to support the falsified Form 9089s that were also submitted.