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Youth Soccer Exec Charged in Visa Fraud Scam

Andy Berg

The former chief operating officer of Global Premier Soccer, a now defunct youth soccer organization, has been charged in connection with a wide-ranging visa fraud conspiracy. 

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts, Justin Capell, 39, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud. 

According to court documents, from at least 2016 to October 2019, Capell conspired with other GPS executives and employees, and with GPS’s outside counsel, to defraud several federal agencies by submitting fraudulent visa petitions in order to secure work visas for hundreds of GPS employees. 

Specifically, it is alleged that Capell and his co-conspirators arranged to file fraudulent visa petitions on behalf of at least seven professional soccer teams in order to secure visas for GPS’s foreign coaching staff.

The petitions falsely stated that the beneficiaries would be working as scouts or assistant coaches for the professional teams when in reality they were employed only as youth soccer coaches by GPS. As part of the conspiracy, Capell and others submitted phony employment contracts between professional teams and the purported beneficiaries. 

It is also alleged that Capell and co-conspirators created fraudulent coaching licenses for the beneficiaries, which were included as part of the visa application packages. A second facet of the conspiracy involved the filing of fraudulent visa petitions for foreign workers who were scheduled to work for GPS affiliates in one part of the country, but who were sent to work in different parts of the United States.

In some instances, it is alleged that conspirators directed visa beneficiaries to mislead U.S. immigration officials – providing them with detailed instructions on how to answer questions during their visa interviews. 

In May 2020, Gavin MacPhee, a former GPS employee, pleaded guilty to destroying records in connection with this investigation.  

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge are based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

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