A man who owns two Raleigh homes is among 11 people and three companies indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia on charges of helping more than 140 Israeli citizens stay in the U.S. illegally while they worked for a company that sold beauty products from kiosks in shopping malls in several states, including North Carolina.
Omer Gur Geiger is an Israeli native named in the 48-page indictment that a grand jury in Newport News, Va., returned last month and that was unsealed this week. Officials said he is a legal permanent U.S. resident.
Referred to by prosecutors as Gur, the 36-year-old was being held for federal officials in the Wake County Detention Center without bail after being arrested Tuesday.
Geiger is listed in Wake County tax records as the owner of a town home at 9139 Bunnwood Lane and, with Sivanne Fishel, as the owner of an acre of land and a house 6067 Delshire Court valued at just under $1.3 million.
The scheme, prosecutors allege, was to bring Israelis to the United States to work at kiosks selling skin-care products made in the Dead Sea region in Israel. The workers came into this country on what are known as B-2 tourist visas that do not allow the holders to work here, then worked at the kiosks without income tax being withheld or their pay reported to the government, the indictment states.
The men named in the charges also are accused of helping helped several Israelis file false applications to extend their tourist visas, saying they were not working in the U.S.
Prosecutors are asking for the government to collect over $14,500,000 from assets involved in the kiosk businesses, including company apartments and cars in several states.
The indictment charges that Geiger and the others were all officials of a string of companies operated by an entity called Rasko LLC, which records show was registered in North Carolina in 2004 with Omer Gur Geiger as its agent and was dissolved the same year.
Prosecutors called the scheme, which they said began at least as long ago as 2011 and ran through the time the indictment was returned, a conspiracy.
“The object of the conspiracy was for the co-conspirators to use the proceeds of their conspiracy to defraud and commit offenses against the United States to transport foreign nationals on B-2 visas to the United States for the purpose of those foreign nationals on B-2 visas engaging in work, and to pay, house, and transport those foreign nationals on B-2 visas once they were in the United States,” the indictment reads.
One of the other companies named in the indictment is Stanga LLC, which was registered in North Carolina in 2007 with Geiger as the agent and offices in a commercial building at 8311 Brier Creek Parkway in Raleigh.
The indictment says a company called Venus LLC was registered in North Carolina, but it does not appear in Secretary of State records. Geiger is listed as the agent of a company called Zinga LLC, but that name does not appear in the indictment.
According to the indictment, Geiger and one of the others named opened two bank accounts for Stanga at a Bank of America office in Durham in late 2007.
Two of the others named in the indictment opened accounts at a Bank of America office in Raleigh in 2013 in the name of Gaya LLC, one of the companies listed, the charges state.