News and Press Releases

Citizen of Ghana Sentenced for Aggravated Identity Theft & Immigration Charges

May 21, 2012

BISMARCK - U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on May 21, 2012, Ashalley Kotey, 29, of Ghana, Africa, pleaded guilty and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on charges of aggravated identity theft, use of immigration identification document not lawfully issued, and possession of counterfeit immigration document.

Judge Hovland sentenced Kotey to serve two years in federal prison on the aggravated identity theft charge, to be followed by two years of supervised release. In addition, Kotey was sentenced to serve one day in jail on the charges of use of immigration identification document not lawfully issued and possession of counterfeit immigration document. Kotey was ordered to pay a $300 special assessment to the Crime
Victim's Fund.

While living in Ghana, Kotey obtained a passport in the name of a United States citizen. He entered the United States through New York’s JFK airport in 2010, using the counterfeit passport. He eventually made his way to Dickinson, N.D.

While in Dickinson, he obtained employment using the name, date of birth and social security number of another individual. While conducting an investigation, the Dickinson Police Department discovered that Kotey was in possession of the counterfeit passport, a counterfeit employment authorization card and other fake documents at his residence in Dickinson. The United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations discovered his true identity and that he was illegally present in the
United States.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Dickinson Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.




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