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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. HSI Investigation Leads to Indictment of Brazilian Man for Visa Fraud and Perjury

HSI Investigation Leads to Indictment of Brazilian Man for Visa Fraud and Perjury

Release Date: May 30, 2024

BOSTON — A Brazilian man residing in Malden was indicted May 29 after an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New England found he was using and possessing a fraudulently obtained visa to enter the United States and lied on his immigration applications.

Upon applying for a U.S. visa, the defendant allegedly never disclosed his involvement in the murders of 11 people, mostly teenagers, in Brazil in retaliation for the death of a police officer, in an incident known as the Slaughter of Curió, a crime for which he was subsequently convicted.

Antonio Jose De Abreu Vidal Filho, 30, was indicted on two counts of visa fraud, two counts of perjury and one count of falsifying, concealing and covering up a material fact. Following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston Wednesday, De Abreu was ordered detained pending a hearing scheduled for June 5.

According to the indictment, in April 2014, De Abreu joined the Ceara State Military Police — Brazilian state forces that, under the governor, do first-line policing on the street. It is alleged that in the early morning hours of Nov. 12, 2015, numerous Brazilian military police officers employed by the government of the Brazilian state of Ceará, including De Abreu, participated in a mass killing event of primarily young people from the impoverished neighborhoods of Barroso, Messejana, Guajeru, Curió and Lagoa Redonda in the capital of Ceará. The killing was in retaliation for the death of another police officer earlier that evening who was shot and killed in the Lagoa Redonda neighborhood while attempting to defend his wife, who was being assaulted. In total, 11 people, mostly teenagers, were murdered and many others seriously injured and tortured. This incident has come to be known as A Chacina do Curió, the Slaughter of Curió, or the Curió Massacre. A total of 45 individuals, including De Abreu, were charged by Brazilian authorities and, on Aug. 31, 2016, De Abreu was arrested and detained by Brazilian police. He was subsequently released pending trial on May 24, 2017.

According to the indictment, two weeks later, on June 9, 2017, while in Recife, Brazil, De Abreu applied for a United States nonimmigrant B-2 visitor visa. When asked whether he had ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, De Abreu responded “no.” Thereafter, on or about June 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of State approved De Abreu’s visa application and issued him the B-2 visa based upon his alleged false representations in his application. De Abreu used the B-2 visa and traveled to Miami on May 30, 2018.

Between May 30, 2018, and Aug. 14, 2023, as a result of the approval of his visa application, De Abreu obtained various state driver’s licenses, a Social Security card, travel documents and authorizations for employment.

On Jan. 29, 2020, De Abreu applied for immigration benefits. It is alleged that De Abreau lied when asked whether he had ever been accused, charged, arrested, detained, interrogated or imprisoned in any country other than the United States. He also allegedly failed to disclose his arrest and detention in Brazil when he applied for adjustment of status with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

On June 25, 2023, De Abreu was convicted of 11 counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and four counts of physical and mental torture in the First Court of Fortaleza in Ceará. The same day, De Abreu was sentenced to 275 years and 11 months in prison and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

On Feb. 9, 2024, De Abreu testified under oath at an immigration hearing conducted by an immigration court. At that hearing, De Abreu falsely claimed that he had never lied to immigration officials and that the only reason he had left off important information on immigration documents filed with the U.S. government was because he had not yet been arrested.

The charge of misuse of visas, permits and other documents provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of perjury provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of falsifying, concealing and covering up a material fact provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by federal district court judges based upon U.S. sentencing guidelines and statutes that govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen for the Justice Department’s National Security Division; HSI New England acting Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Krol; Special Agent in Charge Bradley Parker of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General’s Boston field office; Special Agent in Charge Mathew O’Brien of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service’s Boston field office; and District Director Denis C. Riordan of the Fraud Detection and National Security Division of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Boston field division made the announcement May 30. This investigation was led by HSI New England with the assistance of the U.S. Interagency Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) and HSI Brasilia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura J. Kaplan of the National Security Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Established in 2008, the HRVWCC furthers HSI’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.

Since 2003, HSI has arrested more than 510 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and immigration statutes. During that same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 1,125 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has facilitated the departures of an additional 193 such individuals from the United States.

Currently, HRVWCC has more than 168 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,850 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 79,000 lookouts for potential perpetrators of human rights abuses and stopped over 383 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the United States.

Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the HSI tip line at 877-4-HSI-TIP. Callers may remain anonymous.

Last Updated: 05/30/2024
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