THE FBI is investigating a Tongan company in Sacramento in the United States for allegedly offering immigrants a quick pathway to being a citizen of the United States.
KCRA News reported that a Tongan couple, Helaman and Viola Hansen own the company.
The news agency reported the investigation has now reached at least eight other States and three countries.
FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized files and computers from Helaman Hansen’s office.
It all stems from an adult adoption programme that claims that allow adults to become U.S. citizens.
Immigrants were told they had a quick path to citizenship for a price — paying anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a person.
These people said they were told they could become citizens by being adopted by another adult all through the help of Dr Helaman Hansen and his company Americans Helping America Chamber of Commerce.
In the meantime, Immigration attorneys said the claim that adult adoption leads to citizenship is patently wrong.
Adult adoption is legal and used for things like estate planning and adult care, but according to immigration attorneys, it has no bearing on immigration status.
The company claims to have people working all across the country — Nevada, Hawaii, Utah, Oregon, Washington, New York, Minnesota and California. They also claim to have representatives recruiting people for the adult adoption programme in Tonga and Fiji.
Investigation into adult adoption applications by Hansen’s company found some applications that used false addresses.
An analysis of eight different bank accounts affiliated with Hansen, his wife and employees of his companies showed hundreds of deposits and hundreds of thousands of dollars changing hands.