Hansen denied bail over alleged immigration fraud

The alleged Tongan fraudster  who  was on charges of immigration and citizenship fraud has been refused bail in a California court.

Hilamani Hansen, 63, has been charged with 12 offences, including 11 counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy. He entered a plea of not guilty Friday.

Hansen’s wife Viola was in the courtroom with his passport and was prepared to surrender it to the government.

According to Sacramento Bee report, it says U.S. Magistrate Judge Allison Claire said she is not convinced, based on the evidence before her, that Hansen is not a potential flight risk. Federal Defender Heather Williams told Claire, “There is no security available that we can lay our hands on,” but she suggested a bond backed up only by the signatures of Hansen and his sister.

That “is not enough,” the judge said.

The court was told Hansen of Elk Grove, induced more than 500 undocumented immigrants from coast to coast to pay a total of more than $500,000 in order to secure permanent U.S. status that would relieve them of the fear of deportation.

Prosecutors said Hansen “lured victims of the scam with false promises of citizenship attained through a program wherein he and associates would arrange for them to be adopted as adults by American citizens.

“From there, prosecutors say he assured the victims, it would be a smooth pathway to naturalization”.

Hansen will reappear in court in March.

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