Justice News

Department of Justice
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Vermont Man Surrenders U.S. Citizenship and Consents to Removal from United States

A Bosnian-born Burlington, Vermont, man surrendered his U.S. citizenship because he lied about his military service during the Bosnian war and the court cancelled his certificate of naturalization. 

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eric S. Miller of the District of Vermont, Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. Etre of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Boston Office and Special Agent in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Albany, New York, Field Office made the announcement.

Edin Sakoč, 55, stipulated to the court’s order of denaturalization and loss of citizenship based on a civil complaint alleging that Sakoč illegally and fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship by giving false or misleading information to a U.S. official.  According to court documents, when Sakoč sought refugee status in the United States in 2001, he misrepresented his wartime service in the Croatian Defense Council by denying that he served in a reconnaissance unit.

Members of the public who have information about former human rights violators in the United States are urged to contact U.S. law enforcement through the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section at hrsptips@usdoj.gov or toll-free at 1-800-813-5863, or through the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete its online tip form at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.

HSI Burlington and the FBI’s Albany Division investigated the case, with assistance from ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and its counterpart at the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina provided valuable assistance.  Senior Trial Attorney Jay Bauer of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles of the District of Vermont are prosecuting the case.   

Updated August 10, 2016