Skip Navigation
USAO Home Page

United States Attorney's Office News Release

 

February 23, 2007 -

FIVE INDICTED IN FALSE PASSPORT SCHEME

United States Attorney Patrick L. Meehan today announced the filing of a superseding indictment* charging five in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent U.S. passports. Nassar Rahmaan, Andre T. Cephas, Scottie J. Williams, Josette J.M. Wilson and Juan G. Rutledge are charged with conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and making false statements in United States passport applications.

The charges relate to the defendants’ scheme to obtain fraudulent United States passports using their own identifying information and pictures of other people. The leader of the scheme was Rahmaan, who promised the co-defendants thousands of dollars in cash for obtaining the fraudulent passports. Once they obtained the passports, they were to be sold by others in the conspiracy to foreign nationals and others.

“The defendants were recruited and paid $1,000 to $1,500 per fraudulent passport they were able to obtain,” said Meehan.

"Passport fraud potentially threatens the national security of the United States. The U.S. passport and visa are two of the most coveted travel documents in the world, and those who have acquired passports and visas fraudulently could perpetrate further illegal acts to include terrorism. These crimes make the United States more vulnerable to terrorism, plain and simple," said Joe D. Morton, Director of the Diplomatic Security Service.

If convicted, Rahmaan faces a maximum of 80 years imprisonment, three years supervised release and a $3 million fine. Cephas faces a maximum sentence of 65 years imprisonment, including a two-year mandatory minimum, three years supervised release, a $2.75 million fine, and an $1,100 special assessment. The other defendants face a maximum of 17 years imprisonment, including a two-year mandatory minimum, three years supervised release, a $750,000 fine, and a $300 special assessment.


DEFENDANT

ADDRESS


AGE [Date of Birth]
Nassar Rahmaan
Philadelphia, PA
58

The United States Department of State investigated the case. The case has been assigned for prosecution to Assistant United States Attorney Richard J. Zack.


UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT, PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Contact:
RICH MANIERI
Media Contact
215.861.8525

*An Indictment or Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Benjamin Franklin Photo by B. Krist for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation