Rochester man charged with making false statements
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Tuffek Mohammed Ali Saleh, 41, a citizen and national of Yemen, was arrested in Rochester and charged by criminal complaint with making a false statement on an immigration document, making a false statement to an Immigrant Official and making a false claim of United States Citizenship. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in April 2012, the defendant applied for U.S. Citizenship under the name Yehya Muthana Ali. During the processing of Saleh's application, it was determined that the defendant had previously applied to enter the United States using a different identity. The complaint further alleges that during a subsequent interview with immigration officials, Saleh failed to disclose that he in fact previously went by other names.
In April 2013, Saleh walked into a New York State Lottery Claims Center in Rochester and presented a torn scratch off ticket claiming to have won $3,000,000. As a result, the defendant filled out a Claim Form Worksheet and indicated that he was United States Citizen. According to the New York State Lottery, citizenship is material to the awarding of any lottery winnings because citizens and non-citizens are taxed at different rates.
The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson. Saleh is due back in court on July 24, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero.The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.