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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 20, 2014

Anchorage Woman Sentenced for Passport and PDF Fraud

Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Maualuga Leaana, 43, of Anchorage was sentenced to five years on probation for committing passport fraud.  Leaana was indicted in April 2014 on federal charges that she committed identity theft and falsely claimed U.S. citizenship to obtain various federal and state benefits.

The Indictment charged Leaana with one count of passport fraud, nine counts of making false claims of U.S. citizenship, and one count of aggravated identity theft.  Leaana is a citizen of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa.  Citizens of Samoa are not U.S. citizens, in comparison to those born in American Samoa, who do hold U.S. nationality by birth.

Leaana pled guilty to the passport fraud charge on July 24, 2014, and admitted applying for and obtaining a U.S. passport in the name of her sister.  She also admitted falsely claiming U.S. citizenship on various applications for benefits, including Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends, unemployment compensation, and subsidized housing, as well as obtaining identification from the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.

In addition to five years’ probation, United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess ordered the defendant to spend four months on home confinement; make restitution to the Alaska Permanent Fund in the amount of $14,441 for Permanent Fund Dividends she illegally obtained between 2003 and 2013, and pay $17,392 to the State of Alaska Department of Labor for unemployment benefits that she unlawfully obtained.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Alaska Department of Revenue, Criminal Investigations Unit, and the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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Updated February 3, 2015