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Chicago men staged robberies for immigration perks

Federal prosecutors say the six men committed a series of armed robberies around Chicago and then helped their so-called victims obtain immigration benefits, including special visas.

To make the raids look real, the fake thieves allegedly assaulted clerks at restaurants, coffee shops, liquor stores and gas stations in the Windy City, shooting and killing one customer during one of the raids.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, 26-year-old Perth Nye and 31-year-old Keewon Young organized the robbery in hopes that the U.S. government would comfort their victims by giving them a chance to apply for U visas. He is accused of running a.

Six men were arrested in connection to coordinated robberies across Chicago.

The criminal complaint names four suspects – Bikabhai Patel, 51, of Kentucky, Nilesh Patel, 32, of Tennessee, Rabinaben Patel, 23, of Wisconsin, and Rajnikumar Patel, 32, of Florida – as so-called victims who paid thousands of dollars to take part in the orchestrated robberies.

Prosecutors said Ney and Young then broke into the store with what appeared to be firearms and hired others to carry out the false crime.

“At Nye and Young’s direction, the robbers in one scene punched the purported victims to make the staged heist seem more realistic.” That’s what the lawsuit states.

The fake robbery actually had some real-life repercussions when one of the fake robbers allegedly shot and killed a 26-year-old clerk working at Bucktown Food & Liquor.

The exterior of Bucktown Food & Liquor.
The 26-year-old Bucktown Food & Liquor employee was shot in the abdomen during the fake raid. Google Maps

The store clerk was seen on surveillance video. Five other customers handed over their wallets to two masked men who broke into the store in July 2023, only for one of the robbers to fire a shot into an employee’s abdomen.

The store clerk was taken to hospital in serious condition but miraculously survived.

In total, the robbery ring carried out at least 16 fake robberies in Chicago and its suburbs between December 2022 and January 2024.

Meanwhile, some of these so-called victims have applied for U visas, which are reserved for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse, making them useful to law enforcement and government officials in investigations and prosecutions.

All six are charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud. Ravinaben Patel was also charged with making false statements on a visa application.

This plan is not new. In January, two New York City men were arrested for plotting armed robberies at convenience stores and fast food restaurants across the country in order to give victims access to immigration benefits.

Like the Chicago crew, the two men threatened store clerks with weapons before robbing the cash register and the clerks of cash.

Most of the eight fake robberies took place in front of store surveillance cameras so that victims could conveniently corroborate their claims.