Westchester County police arrested a Rockland County man last week for operating a scheme promising green cards in exchange for cash to undocumented immigrants in Mount Kisco.
Detectives from the county police General Investigations Unit arrested Marko Nikac, 48, at his Congers home on the morning of July 5 in connection with the scam. The arrest followed a two-month investigation into allegations that Nikac impersonated a federal agent and offered to provide three undocumented immigrants with United States resident alien cards, also known as green cards, for $3,000 each.
The fraud was uncovered with the help of undocumented immigrants, police said. One of the victims described to a retired police officer, with whom he is acquainted, how he and two of his friends had paid a combined $9,000 to Nikac for three resident alien cards. Nikac had identified himself to the men as a federal agent and promised that the cards would be delivered within three months.
After three months had passed and no cards were delivered, the victims became suspicious and asked Nikac for their money back, police said. Nikac initially refused and threatened the men with deportation if they continued to ask for the return of their money. He eventually returned $2,000.
The retired police officer passed the information on to county police. Detectives then made contact with the victims who described the scheme in detail and identified Nikac, providing sufficient information to eventually locate and arrest him.
Nikac was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal impersonation, a felony; one count each of third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, also felonies; and one misdemeanor count of scheme to defraud in the second degree.
Acting Westchester County Police Commissioner Martin McGlynn said the investigation should show undocumented immigrants living in the county that they can report crimes committed against them to police without fear of action by immigration enforcement officials.
“It serves the entire Westchester County community well when criminals are apprehended, regardless of the immigration status of their victims,” McGlynn said.
Nikac was arraigned late Thursday in Mount Kisco Village Court and released on $2,000 bail.
County police detectives have appealed to area community groups and resident to inform them if they become aware of any other victims of this fraud or other attempts. Anyone who is a victim or who knows of more victims is asked to contact Westchester County Police at 914-864-7819 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.