A New Jersey woman is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, after admitting in court that she disclosed her identity as a confidential informant for the federal government and lied to investigators.
Vaidehi A. Patel, 26, of Little Ferry, N.J., was tapped in 2012 to help Homeland Security agents gather information on the Iselin, N.J.-based Vision Career Consultants and Jersey City-based PC Tech Learning Center – two technical schools alleged to have committed widespread student visa fraud, which resulted in the arrests of their CEOs and eight others last June, The Star-Ledger reported.
During an appearance at U.S. District Court in Newark April 9, she pleaded guilty to knowingly making materially false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of Homeland Security Investigations.
She is due to be sentenced July 16, a clerk at the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., told News India Times. Patel’s attorney Joseph D. Rotella refused to comment on the case and told News India Times that as the case of ongoing, he could not divulge any information on it.
Patel agreed to work as a confidential source for Homeland Security Investigations in January 2012 and agreed not to reveal her cooperation without getting permission from the department, according to the complaint filed Nov. 14, 2012.
According to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, Patel told “a number of people” about her work as an informant, including someone identified only as "H.P,” northnewjesrsey.com reported.
Subsequently, on Jan. 30, 2012, Patel lied to special agents when she told them that she had not told anyone about her cooperation or the investigation. In particular, Patel denied that she had told H.P. about the investigation.