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Press Release

Ukrainian Man Pretending To Be U.S. Citizen Indicted Federally For Passport And Social Security Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Ukrainian man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for passport fraud and social security fraud. 

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment alleges that Artur Samuel Samarin, age 23, a Ukrainian citizen, using the identity of Asher Samuel Potts, fraudulently applied for a United States passport at the Main Post Office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on December 7, 2015.  Samarin also allegedly submitted false and misleading information to the Social Security Administration resulting in his obtaining a social security card in the name of Asher Potts in July 2014 and he applied for and received a replacement card in November 2015.

This case is part of a continuing investigation by the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, the Harrisburg Bureau of Police and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F. Bloom.  

Samarin was arrested on state charges in February 2016 for statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors, identity theft, falsification to authorities, and tampering with public records.  Samarin was detained and remains in local custody.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court. 

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law, for passport fraud is 10 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release of three years and a $250,000 fine.  The maximum penalty under federal law, for social security fraud is five years’ imprisonment, a three term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated May 25, 2016