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Press Release

San Mateo Man Charged With Making False Statements In Application For Passport

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco grand jury returned an indictment charging Mustapha Traore, aka Olivier Adella, with making false statements in an application for a passport, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson; U.S. State Department, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), San Francisco Field Office Special Agent in Charge Matthew Perlman; and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Tatum King.

Today’s indictment follows Traore’s arrest by federal authorities on a criminal complaint on February 10, 2020.  According to the complaint, Traore, of Burlingame, Calif., made false statements about his true name and birthplace in his December 2011 application for a U.S. passport.  The complaint alleges that in February 2002, Traore used a fake French passport with the name Olivier Adella to enter the United States.  

Further, the criminal complaint alleges that after Traore used the fake passport to enter the United States, he then used it to obtain immigration status and eventually a naturalization certificate.  Then, after obtaining a California driver’s license under the name Olivier Adella, Traore applied for and obtained a U.S. passport.  In May 2016, Troare signed an application to renew his passport and again provided false information.  In sum, the complaint and indictment charge Traore with knowingly making false statements in an application for a passport with the intent to induce and secure the issuance of a passport, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542.  

Traore made his initial federal court appearance on January 13, 2020.  After a detention hearing on January 15, 2020, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim ordered that he be detained as a serious risk of flight.  Magistrate Judge Kim has scheduled Traore’s next appearance for tomorrow morning at 10:30 for arraignment on the indictment.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted of the charge, Traore faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Pastor is prosecuting the case with assistance from Marina Ponomarchuk.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DSS and HSI. 

Updated January 23, 2020