Winter Haven Resident Convicted Of Obtaining U.S. Citizenship By Fraud
Tampa, Florida – A federal jury yesterday found Enite Alindor a/k/a Odette Dureland (56, Winter Haven) guilty of obtaining her naturalization as a United States citizen contrary to law and making false statements in a proceeding relating to naturalization. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 7, 2018.
According to the testimony and evidence presented at trial, Alindor, a citizen of Haiti, applied for asylum with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Miami in February 1997. After the INS denied that application, the United States Immigration Court ordered her to be removed from the United States in absentia. Shortly thereafter, Alindor presented herself to the INS as “Odette 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 concealed the fact that she was also under a final order of removal from the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services personnel, unaware of the Alindor identity and order of removal, approved Dureland for citizenship in July 2012 and she was naturalized as a United States citizen under that name in July 2012.
“When individuals lie on immigration documents, the system is severely undermined and the security of our nation is put at risk,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “HSI places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud.”
“The integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system is paramount,” said USCIS Tampa Acting District Director Tracy Tarango. “This conviction sends a clear message that attempting to fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship will not be tolerated. Our nation’s citizens deserve nothing less.”
The investigation that led to this prosecution was part of “Operation Second Look”, a nationwide investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has reviewed multiple cases across the United States of aliens who gained citizenship by concealing from the INS their prior orders of deportation and orders of removal from the United States.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fraud Detection and National Security group in Tampa, and the USCIS Asylum Office in Miami, Florida. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.