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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lynn Man Indicted on Charges of Naturalization, Passport, and Social Security Fraud

BOSTON – A Lynn man was arrested yesterday in connection with federal immigration and social security violations.

Princehakeem Awolesi was indicted on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015 on one count of illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship; two counts of making false statements in a passport application; two counts of using a passport that had been issued by reason of false statements; and one count of using a falsely obtained social security account number.

According to the indictment, Awolesi obtained United States citizenship by making false statements in connection with his application for naturalization.  In so doing, Awolesi concealed his past use of different names, a prior criminal conviction, and a previous application for relief from removal.  In addition, the indictment alleges that Awolesi falsely stated that he had never given false information to any government official while applying for any immigration benefit or to prevent deportation, exclusion, or removal.

According to the indictment, Awolesi also made false statements on two applications for U.S. passports, and later used those passports. The indictment also charges Awolesi with using a social security number that was obtained on the basis of false information.

The charges of illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship and passport fraud provide a sentence of no greater than ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Awolesi may also be stripped of United States citizenship.  The charge of using a falsely obtained social security account number provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; David W. Hall, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Boston Field Office; and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian A. Pérez-Daple of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated February 4, 2016