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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Polk County Woman Sentenced For Obtaining U.S. Citizenship By Fraud And False Statements

Tampa, Florida – United States District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington today sentenced Enite Alindor (55), also known as Odette Dureland, to five months in federal prison for making false statements in a matter relating to naturalization and citizenship and for procuring naturalization as a United States citizen. As part of her sentence, the court also entered an order de-naturalizing her, thus revoking her July 2012naturalization as a United States citizen. A federal jury had found her guilty on March 1, 2018.

According to court documents, Alindor, a citizen of Haiti, applied for asylum with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Miami in 1997. After the INS denied that application, the United States Immigration Court ordered her to be removed from the United States. Shortly thereafter, Alindor presented herself to the INS as Odettte Dureland and filed for asylum protection under that new identity. She concealed the fact that she had previously applied for status in the United States as Enite Alindor, and she concealed the fact that she was under a final order for removal from the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel, unaware of the Alindor identity and order of removal, approved Dureland for citizenship in July 2012, and she was naturalized as a U.S. citizen under that name in July 2012.

“Citizenship is the greatest immigration benefit our country can bestow,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “HSI and our partners, like USCIS, will continue working together to protect the integrity of our legal immigration system and the opportunities it provides.”

“This is a perfect example of federal agencies working together to combat those trying to defraud the American people,” stated U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Tampa District Director, Michael Borgen. “USCIS will continue playing a key role to safeguard the integrity of our immigration system.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security group in Tampa, and the USCIS Asylum Office in Miami. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated June 5, 2018