A Massachusetts youth soccer director agreed to plead guilty Friday to fraud charges in a scheme to illegally obtain employee visas for children’s coaches by claiming they’d be working as scouts of coaches for professional teams including the Syracuse Silver Knights, Utica FC, and the Boston Breakers. In documents filed in Boston federal court, Justin Capell, 39, admitted to conspiracy to commit visa fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
According to court documents, Capell, the COO of Global Premier Soccer (GPS) in Southborough, and three unnamed co-conspirators—GPS’s CEO, a former GPS coach and HR employee, and an immigration attorney hired by GPS—brought “hundreds” of foreign youth coaching staff to the U.S. by making it appear as if they’d be working for pro squads when in reality, they’d only be working with kids. This involved forging phony employment contracts with pro teams, faking the signatures of executives, and telling applicants to lie during consular interviews. “They will need to be rock solid at the embassy,” one of Capell’s co-conspirators told him in a 2017 email. “Their line will be that they are coming out to coach for the Florida Tropics,” a pro soccer team in Lakeland, Florida.