HAILEY MAN CHARGED WITH OBTAINING U.S. CITIZENSHIP BY FRAUD
Americo De La Cruz, 38, of Hailey, Idaho, was arrested in Hailey today on charges of false swearing in an immigration matter, unlawful procurement of citizenship, and perjury, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced. A federal grand jury in Boise indicted De La Cruz on the charges last week. An initial appearance has not yet been set.
The five count indictment alleges that De La Cruz gave materially false information in a sworn interview with immigration agents, and in two applications for immigration benefits, regarding his residence and the validity of his marriage. The indictment further alleges that De La Cruz obtained United States citizenship as a result of the fraudulent immigration applications.
The charge of false swearing in an immigration matter is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The charge of unlawful procurement of citizenship is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. The charge of perjury is punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“The defendant in this case falsely believed that he could obtain U.S. citizenship through deceitful means,” said Brad Bench, deputy special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho. “However, the outcome of this investigation clearly demonstrates that our nation's immigration laws are to be respected, not flaunted.”
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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