NIGERIAN CITIZEN SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR IDENTITY THEFT, FRAUD AND IMMIGRATION OFFENSES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOEY CHIBUKO, also known by other aliases, 46, a citizen of Nigeria last residing in West Hartford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 168 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for committing multiple identity theft, fraud and immigration offenses.
According to the evidence presented during a trial earlier this year, on May 3, 1993, CHIBUKO entered the United States, in California, on a six-month tourist visa. Shortly thereafter, CHIBUKO married an American citizen and was granted conditional residency in the U.S. However, during the period of his conditional residency, CHIBUKO was arrested by the Oakland (Calif.) Police Department. While on release from those charges, CHIBUKO fled to Massachusetts where he assumed a series of identities.
In 1999, CHIBUKO stole an identification document belonging to an American citizen who was residing in Massachusetts and suffered from a developmental disability. CHIBUKO then assumed that individual’s identity, and eventually settled in the Hartford area where he used his assumed identity to obtain a U.S. passport, a social security number, and a Connecticut driver’s license. In 2008, CHIBUKO fraudulently registered to vote as a U.S. citizen.
On September 9, 2010, federal law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at CHIBUKO’s residence. The search resulted in the seizure of multiple authentic and counterfeit identification documents, including driver’s licenses, U.S. and Nigerian passports, and various birth certificates.
On May 24, 2011, a jury found CHIBUKO guilty of one count of United States passport fraud, one count of making a false claim of United States citizenship, two counts of social security fraud, two counts of identity fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
CHIBUKO has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on September 9, 2010.
Upon his release from prison, CHIBUKO faces deportation proceedings.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. The State of Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory provided critical assistance to the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher M. Mattei and Douglas P. Morabito.
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