If you follow our numerous appellate court blogs, you’ll know that immigration appeals and deportation appeals aren’t easy to win.
A Jamaican citizen, Nigel Singh, however, had found success when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his deportation order. The Board of Immigration Appeals had ordered Singh’s deportation after he had been found guilty of bankruptcy perjury. But the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that the government failed to meet its burden before the BIA.
Singh had been in the United States since 1975 and during that time, had founded a construction company, Raeback Corp.
Raeback went under and filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2005.
During the bankruptcy proceedings, he found himself under investigation as part of a Port Authority kickback sting operation. He tried to move some funds and unknowingly gave the funds to an informant.
Unfortunately, he ended up serving some time for that mistake, as he knowingly made a false and fraudulent remark during a bankruptcy proceeding, essentially, concealing the funds.
That’s when the Department of Homeland Security jumped in. They tried to have Nigel Singh removed under a provision that allows for deportation when an immigrant is convicted of a crime that causes a victim loss over the amount of $10,000.
Under this prong, the DHS successfully argued, Singh was an aggravated felon who cheated the bankruptcy trustee out of an amount over $10,000.
The Third Circuit overruled the deportation order of the BIA. The funds, the court claimed, were never in the possession of Singh and as such, the loss was never “actual.” Rather, the funds went straight from the Port Authority to the bankruptcy trustee.
Thus, Singh’s deportation order was reversed, and the court ruled that he was not an aggravated felon.