Former Department of Defense Employees Plead Guilty to Unlawfully Procuring U.S. Citizenship
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Two former Department of Defense employees pleaded guilty in federal court in San Jose yesterday to the unlawful procurement and attempted procurement of naturalization documents, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
In pleading guilty, Adeba Sultana admitted to using a false name, false citizenship information, falsely claiming her husband had been killed, and falsely describing her method of entry into the United States in various immigration status applications. In her application for naturalization, which was approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008, Sultana gave false information regarding her citizenship status and falsely claimed she had not previously lied to U.S. immigration officials to obtain an immigration benefit.
Similarly, Sultana’s husband, Mohammad Ali Rabbani admitted to giving a false name, false citizenship information, and falsely described his method of entry into the United States on his Application for Asylum and other status applications. In his application for naturalization, Rabbani gave false information regarding his citizenship status and falsely claimed that he had not previously lied to U.S. immigration officials to obtain an immigration benefit.
Both defendants were previously employed as language instructors at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.
A federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Rabbani and Sultana, of San Diego on Oct. 12, 2011. Rabbani was charged with one count of Attempted False Procurement of Naturalization in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1425(a). Sultana was charged with one count of False Procurement of Naturalization, under the same statute.
Rabbani and Sultana are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 15, 2012, before United States District Court Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of Unlawful Procurement or Attempted Procurement of Citizenship in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1425 is 10 years and a fine of $250,000. Sultana also faces mandatory revocation of her citizenship status under 18 U.S.C. § 1451(e). However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Marie Ursini and Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Knight are prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of a year-long investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.