Thursday, October 31, 2013
The Illinois Hearing Board has recommended a censure of an attorney, finding that he had testified falsely in an immigration proceeding involving his mother-in-law;
Based on her marriage to Beaudion, [mother-in-law] Antonina petitioned to adjust her immigration status. On November 18, 2003, in connection with Antonina's immigration matter, Respondent submitted a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support (Affidavit of Support) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). By submitting this document, Respondent agreed to financially support Antonina if she were unable to support herself. The Affidavit of Support stated that Antonina resided at 501 N. Clinton Street...
Respondent's marriage to Tanya began to unravel in May 2004, when Respondent learned that Tanya was having an affair with her dance instructor. Respondent filed for divorce from Tanya on June 11, 2004. Shortly thereafter, on July 7, 2004, Respondent sent a letter to DHS requesting to immediately withdraw his Affidavit of Support for Antonina. Respondent retained counsel, who sent DHS a more detailed letter and affidavit signed by Respondent on July 14, 2004. The letter and affidavit stated that Respondent had learned that Antonina's marriage to Beaudion was fraudulent. An investigation into Antonina's marriage ensued, and DHS initiated removal proceedings against Antonina.
The board rejected charges of dishonesty in several instances but found misconduct in testimony:
...we find that Respondent testified falsely when he stated that, between July 2000 and June 2004, Antonina always lived at 1703 W. Wrightwood and it was not possible that she lived elsewhere for any period of time. This testimony cannot be reconciled with Respondent's position here that Antonina moved out of his home for a period of time in the fall of 2003. There is no question that Respondent was aware that Antonina moved out, as he was the one who insisted she do so before he would sign the Affidavit of Support. Although Antonina apparently did not move in with Beaudion, she did move out of 1703 W. Wrightwood for a period of time, according to Respondent and the many witnesses who testified in this matter. Accordingly, Respondent's Immigration Court testimony was false.