Miami federal court records show yet another delay in the case of Maylin Silva, a Venezuelan community activist who recently pleaded guilty to immigration fraud and contempt of court.
She had been scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing last Tuesday, but her attorney, Marc Seitles, persuaded the judge to delay the hearing until November because he needed more time to finish a final document in the case. Judge Darrin P. Gayles reset the sentencing hearing for Nov. 2.
It’s the latest postponement in a case plagued by delays in court since Silva was arrested last year.
The case against Silva began on Sept. 15 when a Miami grand jury indicted her for, among other things, “conspiracy to encourage and induce aliens to enter and reside in the United States,” in violation of immigration law.
According to the indictment, between July 2005 and December 2014 Silva prepared fraudulent immigration applications that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to reside and work in the United States.
A recently filed document in the case file contained new information about some of the victims.
It indicates that for a 10-year period Silva might have amassed about $1.5 million from payments from fraudulent applications. However, Silva’s lawyer said in a motion that not all that money came from application payments. It also includes lawsuit proceeds from New York City apartment rental revenue, art sales and some legitimate immigration work.
“Ms. Silva did not derive all of the $1,500,000 from fraud,” Seitles wrote in his document. “Ms. Silva does not suggest that the majority of the funds she received were part of these fraudulent employment petitions. Rather, she simply wants to explain where some of the other monies were derived from. In addition, this was over a 10-year period so Ms. Silva grossed a yearly average of $150,000 even including legitimate proceeds.”
Seitles’ document also reveals that Silva blamed others for involvement in the immigration fraud.
Among those she linked to the case was a former husband and some “office co-conspirators.” In the case, only Silva was charged and prosecuted.
Federal agents arrested Silva at Miami International Airport on Nov. 2, 2015, as she prepared to board a flight to Caracas in an attempt to flee abroad.