Indian in fraud case faces ‘honor killing’
FLINT, MI — Jatinder “Bobby” Singh, a former Flint, Mich., liquor store employee, will be deported and targeted for an “honor killing” in India if he pleads guilty to aiding a $1.3-million food stamp fraud scheme, said Kimberly Stout, Singh’s attorney at a January 4 hearing in Flint US District Court.
Stout argued that the 31-year-old Indian American worker did not fully understand the repercussions of pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud at Paradise House of Liquor in Flint, asking a federal judge to allow Singh to withdraw his plea.
Singh pleaded guilty to aiding the food stamp scheme in April 2017 under the assumption he would be allowed to stay in the US due to the “horrendous circumstances” he faced if he returned to India, the filing said.
The immigration court ruled otherwise. Now, Stout says, if Singh returns to India, he will be killed by his wife’s family.
Singh fled to the US from India in 2008 after being targeted by his wife’s family for an “honor killing”—a murder meant to “avenge a sense of insult”–for marrying outside of caste.
Because Singh’s wife was of a different culture than him, the pair was not permitted by the family to marry, the court filing states, adding that when Singh proposed to the woman, she was beaten by her father and Singh was threatened with death.
Eventually, with the help of Singh’s siblings, the couple ran away and married.
With no former criminal history, government guidelines recommend Singh spend four to 10 months behind bars, according to records.
Singh is currently free on a $10,000 unsecured bond. His sentencing is scheduled for February 21.