US Immigration Scammer Convicted

A Branford, New Haven, Conn. man is facing a long prison term after pleading guilty to bilking illegal immigrants out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fifty-six-year-old Ralph Cucciniello has been accused of taking $560,000 from about 60 immigrants in Greater New Haven, as well as the Boston and New York area.

The judge Thursday told Cucciniello if he comes up with $300,000 to pay back his victims he might consider a shorter prison sentence.

Prosecutors say Cucciniello claimed to be a lawyer at a legal clinic at the Yale Law School and charged immigrants $5,000 each to file papers that he said would lead to a Green Card and permanent residence status in the U.S.

Green Card Lottery Scam (DV-2006-2007)

Here’s the latest example of this nasty scam preying,as usual, on those members of society with probably the least to lose. The US Government, as you may not be aware, makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

The following warning is on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website (

Please Note: There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to “complete” lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and NOT by email. To learn more see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning. (more…)