Phony “State Department Employees” Charged With Felonies For Stealing From Immigrant New Yorkers


September 5, 2018

D.A. Vance Urges Victims of Schoen Michael La Bombard, a/k/a “Commander Sean Michal Lombardi,” and his “liaison” Francesca Bradley, to Call (212) 335-3600

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of SCHOEN MICHAEL LA BOMBARD, a/k/a “Commander Sean Michael Lombardi,” 51, and his “liaison” FRANCESCA BRADLEY, 44, for stealing at least $23,800 from undocumented immigrants by posing as U.S. Department of State officials that could help them quickly secure legal immigration status. The defendants are charged with two counts of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and one count of Immigration Services Fraud in the First Degree, as well as various counts of Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, and Grand Larceny in the Third and Fourth Degrees.(1)

“In New York and across the country, undocumented immigrants seeking a pathway to citizenship are being targeted by opportunists seeking to make a profit,” said District Attorney Vance. “As alleged, these individuals posed as State Department employees to persuade primarily Spanish-speaking immigrants to hand over hundreds of dollars in cash. Disturbingly, they attempted to convince victims that their motives were altruistic by manipulating fears surrounding the current political climate to hawk a fake fast-track to legal status.

“Thanks to the brave victims who approached the dedicated advocates at Make the Road New York, we were able to put a stop to this scheme. If you or someone you know has been a victim of this scam, I urge you to call our Immigrant Affairs hotline at (212) 335-3600. Regardless of your immigration status, or the language you speak, we are here to help.”

“En Nueva York y alrededor del país, inmigrantes indocumentados que buscan el sendero de la ciudadanía son el blanco de oportunistas que buscan aprovecharse de ellos,” dice el Fiscal del Distrito Vance. “Como se alega, estos individuos posan como empleados del Departamento de Estado para persuadir principalmente a inmigrantes que hablan español a entregar cientos de dólares en efectivo. Es inquietante, que intentan convencer a sus víctimas que sus motivos son caritativos para así manipular los temores entorno al clima político actual para difundir una vía rápida al status legal.

“Gracias a la valentía de las víctimas que se acercaron a los dedicados defensores de Make the Road New York, pudimos poner un alto a esta trama. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce ha sido víctima de esta estafa, yo les insto a que llamen a nuestra línea directa de Immigrant Affairs al teléfono (212) 335-3600. Independientemente de cual sea su estatus migratorio, o el idioma que hable, estamos aquí para ayudarle.”

According to court documents, from March 2018 to August 2018, the defendants stole from at least 14 undocumented immigrants by promising a pathway to legal immigration status in exchange for $1,700 in purported “fees.” LA BOMBARD posed as a Diplomatic Security Service special agent named “Commander Sean Michael Lombardi” who could help immigrants quickly earn legal immigration status. BRADLEY posed as State Department employee and “liaison” for “Commander Lombardi,” collecting fees, personal information, fingerprints, and immigration forms, and promising meetings at the United Nations headquarters which never took place.

Victims of the alleged scheme reported the fraud to Make the Road New York, an immigrants’ rights organization, which then referred the case to the Manhattan D.A.’s Immigrant Affairs Unit. The defendants were arrested on August 1, 2018, and investigators executing a search warrant seized dozens of forged documents containing a false United States Department of State seal, as well as a replica firearm, military and law enforcement attire, and a replica badge with the words “Dignitary Protection Agent, United States of America.”

Assistant D.A. Diego Diaz is handling the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Gloria Garcia, Chief of the Immigrant Affairs Unit, David Crowley, Supervising Attorney of the Financial Frauds Bureau, and Archana Rao, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau, as well as Executive Assistant D.A. Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Program Coordinator Adriana Suarez assisted with the investigation, as did Investigators Maria Coyt-Freda, Miguel Pena, Patrick Bubb, and Supervising Investigator Veronica Rodriguez.

District Attorney Vance thanked the New York Field Office of the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service for its assistance with the investigation.

Defendant Information:

SCHOEN MICHAEL LA BOMBARD, a/k/a “Commander Sean Michael Lombardi,” D.O.B. 8/6/1967
New York, NY

Charged:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Immigration Services Fraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 13 counts
  • Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
FRANCESCA BRADLEY, D.O.B. 1/7/74
Mamaroneck, NYCharged:

  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, two counts
  • Immigration Services Fraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count

1.  The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.