CHARLOTTE – It looks like the precedent set by Sanctuary Sheriffs in places like Mecklenburg County is being followed by other community leaders. On Tuesday Evelyn Mack, founder, owner and schoolmaster at Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for taking bribes from area coaches to rig enrollment and immigration records for international students to shield them from detection by immigration authorities. She’d been committing the fraud for five years.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“[…] Her crimes: Mack filed fraudulent immigration and enrollment paperwork to say that international student-athletes, many from Africa, were enrolled in her small private school on Monroe Road. Federal prosecutors say that qualified the students for visas to stay in the country and kept them off the radar of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE.
In actuality, the students were enrolled elsewhere at schools that, unlike Evelyn Mack Academy, did not qualify for the student-visa program.
For her efforts to mislead immigration authorities, prosecutors say Mack received bribes of $1,000 per student. In an affidavit that accompanied Mack’s arrest, ICE Special Agent Russell Vensk said the schoolmaster received kickbacks on some 75 students, many of them minors, starting in 2011.
In the wording of her indictment, the former Charlotte-Mecklenburg School’s middle-school teacher “agreed with others to conceal, harbor and shield from detection” international students “for the purpose of commercial advantage or financial gain.” […]”
None of the other coaches or individuals paying the bribes or helping commit the immigration crimes were named in the federal indictment or court documents in Mack’s case, but the investigation is reportedly still ongoing. It’s good to see the law enforced for such an egregious act, yet Mack was reportedly well-liked by former students and parents who were calling for immunity. One parent essentially said, ‘Go easy on her, she gave us a free class.’ The reasons she had the financial flexibility to waive tuition here and there — 75 fraud international students at $1,000 a pop — is apparently lost on this parent.
Still, the dovish media is inclined to promote these character witnesses to stoke compassion and empathy in the illegal immigration debate. The final section of the article above is subtitled ‘Given So Much’ as if that blunts the severity of her crimes.
With the investigation ongoing it is likely that more actors in this immigration fraud are outed and indicted. The case begs the question of just how many other fraud immigration fronts exist in similar forms across the state, and especially in big blue population centers like Charlotte.
Read more about the extensive immigration fraud here.