Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: citizenship fraud

Florida Resident Arrested for Immigration and Citizenship Fraud

A federal indictment was unsealed Wednesday, January 30, 2013, charging a Tampa man with making false statements in connection with his naturalization application. The indictment is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to the indictment, Georges Jean-Philippe, 48, aka Benedique Jean-Philippe, made false statements on his naturalization application to become a U.S. citizen. During his application for citizenship, Jean-Philippe, a citizen of Haiti, withheld information that he had previously been ordered deported from the United States under a different name. As a result, in 2008, he illegally obtained U.S. citizenship under a name different from the one he used in his initial dealings with U.S. immigration authorities.

HSI special agents arrested Jean-Philippe at his home Wednesday, January 30, 2013. A federal judge ordered him detained and held without bond.

Georgia Native Arrested for Suspected Human Rights Violations

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a suspected human rights violator Monday, September 24, 2012, who is charged with fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Mladen Mitrovic, 52, of Loganville, Ga., was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield III on federal charges that he obtained his naturalized citizenship through fraudulent omissions about his background that related to his work as a Serbian concentration camp guard.

“The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to work with officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina to locate concentration camp guards who emigrated under false pretenses to the United States after the Bosnian War,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “This defendant will now have to face many of the former Bosnian Muslim prisoners who suffered at his hand in the Trnopolje Concentration Camp.”

“HSI special agents in Atlanta, working on a tip from our special agents in Portland, Ore., were able to identify Mr. Mitrovic as a potential human rights violator responsible for the alleged abuse and torture of Muslims and Catholics at the Trnopolje Concentration Camp,” said Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of HSI Atlanta. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has shown great expertise in their aggressive prosecution of suspects accused of committing human rights violations abroad before immigrating to the United States under false pretenses.”

According to information presented in court, Mitrovic, a Bosnian native, applied to be naturalized as a United States citizen Oct. 3, 2002. In his naturalization application, Mitrovic allegedly failed to disclose that as a guard at a Serbian concentration camp during the Bosnian War, he persecuted people because of their religion, national origin and membership in a particular social group.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and automatic deportation upon the completion of a sentence of imprisonment. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding, but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who have participated in war crimes and acts of genocide, torture and extrajudicial killings. These individuals may use fraudulent identities to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States.

Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the toll-free HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

To learn more about the assistance available to victims in these cases, the public should contact ICE’s confidential victim-witness toll-free number at 1-866-872-4973. Tips may be provided anonymously.

Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 225 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 540 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, HSI has more than 140 active investigations and ICE is pursuing more than 1,900 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from nearly 95 different countries.

Members of the public are reminded that a defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Nigerian Man Sentenced for Stealing Murder Victim’s Identity

A Nigerian man, who came to the U.S. in 1989 and assumed the identity of a murder victim to remain in the country illegally, has pleaded guilty to exhibiting a false government document. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Office of Inspector General, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police.

Bimbo Peter Oyewole, 54, of Elizabeth, N.J., pleaded guilty to the third-degree offense, before Superior Court Judge Peter V. Ryan in Essex County, N.J.

“Document fraud poses a significant threat to both national security and public safety,” said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. “HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and other critical infrastructures in protecting the American public.”

According to court documents, Oyewole admitted that he used the name, date of birth and Social Security number of a man named Jerry E. Thomas, who was murdered in Queens, N.Y., in 1992, to obtain an airport security ID card, called a Secure Identification Display Area Card (SIDA). Oyewole used the SIDA card as a supervisor for FJC Security Services, a private firm contracted to staff vehicle access gates and provide other security services at EWR. The card gave him access to secure areas, including the tarmac and airplanes.

“The Port Authority moved swiftly to arrest this defendant and remove him from his security position at the airport when they learned he was using a false identity,” said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. “My office, in turn, worked closely with the Port Authority’s Office of Inspector General, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the New York City Police to investigate him, ensure he was not a threat to national security, and prosecute him for his crime.”

“Whatever the motive, it’s a serious crime to falsify government documents, particularly when it involves identity theft and issues of public security,” said Stephen J. Taylor, director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This defendant has rightly faced serious consequences. By the time he is sentenced, he will have spent roughly six months in custody and he will be a convicted felon.”

Port Authority Inspector General Robert E. Van Etten said, “Today’s conviction will serve notice to all that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will not tolerate fraud or any other criminal misconduct at its facilities. The Port Authority Office of Inspector General and its law enforcement partners will aggressively identify, investigate and bring to justice those who corrupt the integrity and security of our airports and facilities. I wish to thank the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and all of our law enforcement partners for their invaluable assistance, participation and contribution to this investigation.”

Oyewole entered the U.S. in January 1989 on a temporary work visa. He began using Jerry E. Thomas’ identity several weeks before Thomas was murdered on July 20, 1992. Thomas was shot outside a YMCA in Queens where he was staying. Oyewole used his identity to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license and high school equivalency diploma. He also obtained employment in Thomas’ name, holding security jobs at EWR under several private contractors.

Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Oyewole be sentenced to a term of probation. Oyewole is scheduled for sentencing October 19.

Oyewole came into ICE custody September 11 and is in removal proceedings. He is being detained in an ICE detention facility pending an immigration hearing before an immigration judge.

MVA Employee Enters Guilty Plea; Sold Fraudulent Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Aliens

Michael Anthony Peters, Jr. 29, of Riverdale, Md. pleaded guilty Friday, September 7, 2012, to a conspiracy to produce and sell Maryland driver’s licenses without lawful authority. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

“Michael Anthony Peters violated the public’s trust and risked endangering our community by producing and issuing Maryland driver’s licenses to individuals who could not or were not willing to legitimately pass the required MVA examination,” said HSI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge William Winter. “This type of fraud poses a serious security vulnerability and could put the security of our communities and even our country at risk.”

According to his plea agreement, Peters was an employee of the MVA assigned to the Largo Branch. Peters’ duties included the issuance of Maryland driver’s licenses. Peters admitted that from July through October 2007, he received payment in exchange for producing and issuing Maryland driver’s licenses to individuals whom he knew had not passed the required tests. Many of these individuals were illegal aliens.

According to his plea agreement, Peters typically received approximately $300 as a bribe for each non-commercial driver’s license and $400 as a bribe for each commercial driver’s license he issued. Peters falsified MVA records to state that the applicants had passed the required tests and issued driver’s licenses in their names. Over the course of the conspiracy, Peters produced at least 40 driver’s licenses without lawful authority.

Peters faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 at his sentencing Dec. 18 before U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus. As part of his plea agreement, Peters will be required to pay restitution in the amount of $12,000.

The investigation was conducted by HSI Baltimore and the MVA Investigation and Security Services Division.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.

California Brothers Indicted for Producing Fraudulent Immigration Documents

Two Shasta County brothers were indicted Thursday, August 9, 2012, by a federal grand jury on charges of producing and selling false identification and immigration documents following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Sergio Alonso Madrigal-Felix, 32, of Redding, Calif., and Mario Alfonso Madrigal-Felix, 36, of Anderson, Calif., are also accused of possessing document making equipment and materials. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hales and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele M. Beckwith.

According to court documents, the brothers sold counterfeit document sets for $150 each that included an alien registration card or “green card” and a Social Security card with a false number. An undercover HSI special agent purchased three sets on March 22 for three fictitious people. Four more sets were purchased from the defendants on two other occasions. A search warrant was issued and agents seized document-making equipment, including a laptop, printer and laminator.

“Targeting schemes like this that enable individuals who aren’t in this country lawfully to obtain legitimate identity documents is a top enforcement priority for ICE HSI,” said Jason Graham, resident agent in charge for HSI Redding. “Those who engage in this type of fraud are putting the security of our communities and even our country at risk. Schemes like this could potentially be exploited by dangerous criminals and others seeking to obscure their identities and mask their motives.”

The defendants have been in custody since their arrest and initial court appearance July 27. They are scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan Aug. 10. If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.