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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 6, 2017

Williamsburg Man Arrested on False Statement Charges

NORFOLK, Va. – A man alleged to have made false statements during his application to join the U.S. Army and Air Force was arrested today on charges he hid information from recruiters about his foreign travel and prior arrest in the Kingdom of Jordan.

Shivam Patel, 27, of Williamsburg, was charged on June 30 with making materially false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States government. According to the criminal complaint unsealed today, Patel traveled to China in July 2016 and then flew to Jordan, where he was arrested, detained, and deported to the United States. In early September 2016, Patel is alleged to have told an undercover agent and a confidential source that he wanted to join a “Muslim army” and commit jihad.

After returning to the United States, Patel applied to join the U.S. Army and Air Force through the Officer Candidate Selection process beginning in December 2016. According to the complaint, when asked about his foreign travel as part of his applications, Patel did not disclose his travel to China or Jordan. Instead, Patel allegedly claimed that he had not traveled anywhere outside the United States in the past seven years, except for a family trip to India in 2011–2012.

Patel faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Bosse is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-mj-354.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Topic(s): 
National Security
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated July 10, 2017