U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 12, 2010
RUSSIAN COUPLE CHARGED WITH IDENTITY THEFT, BANK AND PASSPORT FRAUD
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Russian national purporting to be an American citizen and his wife, a naturalized American citizen, whose true identities are not known to authorities, were arrested by federal agents and charged Wednesday with identity theft, bank and passport fraud, and false statement of citizenship, according to U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha. The couple was arrested at their Warwick, R.I. home following an investigation that began after an individual living in Ireland filed a complaint with Warwick Police alleging that he discovered through the Internet that his identity and personal information may have been stolen by a man living in Warwick.
The couple, who identify themselves as Fionghal MacEoghan and Oleysa MacEoghan, made initial appearances Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence before U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Martin each charged with one count each of passport fraud; false statement of citizenship; identity theft; and bank fraud.
According to Affidavits on file in the U.S. District Court, an individual with dual citizenships in Ireland and the United States contacted Warwick Police in July alleging that his identity and personal information were being used by a Russian couple living in Warwick, R.I. Fionghal Solomon MacEoghan told police that he discovered the couple through the Internet. He told police that based on his Internet searches, viewing numerous Internet links, and after having several contacts through Facebook and email with a woman identifying herself as Oleysa MacEoghan, he believed that his identity and personal information had been stolen and were being used by an individual in Warwick.
According to the Affidavits, an investigation by federal agents from ICE and the U.S. State Department, assisted by Warwick Police, identified the couple and determined that they allegedly filed for and fraudulently obtained U.S. passports, Rhode Island driver’s licenses, and purchased a home in Warwick and obtained a mortgage using Mr. MacEoghan’s identity and personal information.
A complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Browne.