Bensonhurst Attorney Anna Tsirlina Arrested For Visa Fraud

Tsirlina’s law office (Source: Google Maps)

The feds have accused a Bensonhurst-based lawyer of falsifying applications for foreign nationals hoping to receive U.S. work visas. Reuters is reporting that attorney Anna Tsirlina and her paralegal, Aleksandr Shusterman, allegedly committed visa fraud from 2005 to 2012.

According to the federal complaint, Tsirlina and Shusterman were paid thousands of dollars to lie on H1-B visa forms. H1-B visas are for foreign nationals who are hired by for specialized occupations by U.S. companies. Reuters described how Tsirlina’s scam allegedly went down.

To obtain an H1-B visa, a prospective employer has to file documents with federal agencies describing the type of job the foreign national is being hired for, the rate of pay and the duration of employment, among other information.
Prosecutors said the defendants worked together to submit fraudulent forms and documents that described fake job openings at made-up companies – for instance, “bilingual translator” or “software engineer” – to help obtain visas for clients who were not skilled in the sham positions.

Andrei Kurakin was also arrested for allegedly referred the clients to Tsirlina and Shusterman. Federal prosecutors charged all three with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and visa fraud. Tsirlina, Shusterman and Kurakin plead not guilty before federal judge Joan Azrack and were released on bond.

Tsirlina’s office is located at 1931 86th Street in Bensonhurst.