A senior executive of an organization used by Governor Phil Murphy’s football team was charged on Friday in connection with a widespread conspiracy over visa fraud.
From 2016 to October 2019, Justin Capell, of Southborough, Massachusetts, and other Global Premier Soccer staff on behalf of seven professional soccer teams, including Murphy’s FC Sky Blue, filed fraudulent visa applications with several federal agencies to secure visas for GPS overseas coaching team, according to the appeal in the case filed in the Massachusetts District Court.
Murphy is not named in the complaint and is not accused of wrongdoing.
GPS provided youth soccer classes in clinics, city leagues, tournaments and international residential academies and, according to the complaint, employed many foreigners in the US on temporary nonimmigrant visas.
The petitions submitted by GPS indicated that the applicant would work as a scout or assistant coach for the pro teams if, according to the complaint, they were actually only employed as youth football coaches by GPS.
Capell would also file bogus employment contracts and fake coaching licenses, and file fraudulent visa applications for foreign workers to work in GPS subsidiaries in one area of the country, but sent to different areas of the country.
According to the complaint, in 2016 GPS filed fake contracts stating that employees would work as Boy Scouts for Sky Blue and as assistant coaches and Boy Scouts for the Boston Breakers at salaries that were higher than they were actually paid.
Murphy was elected governor of New Jersey as recently as 2017 and is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Sky Blue. His wife, Tammy, also owns and chairs the club.
GoLocalProv.com, a news site in Rhode Island, posted copies of emails in which Phil Murphy responded to a request from co-owner Steven Temares to talk about working with GPS through the team’s “scouting structure”.
Former Sky Blue coach Christy Holly, who is friends with former GPS CEO and co-founder Joe Bradley, told the Boston Globe that he and Bradley believed everything was legal. Holly told The Globe that he benefited from finding information on youth soccer players provided by GPS. Holly left the team in 2017.
Neither Murphy, Bradley, nor Holly are mentioned or charged in the complaint.
A spokeswoman for Sky Blue did not immediately respond to a message asking for comment on Monday afternoon. In a statement to Globus, the team said it became aware of the investigation in 2018 and has not used GPS since 2016.
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