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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 5, 2018

Sonoma County Resident Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison For Passport Fraud And Identity Theft

Defendant was a fugitive for 23 years before his arrest on false passport application charges.

SAN FRANCISCO – Ronald Victor Solakian was sentenced to 30 months in prison for making a false statement on a passport application and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Special Agent in Charge Matthew Perlman of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) San Francisco Field Office. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Susan Illston, United States District Judge.  

Solakian, 70, pleaded guilty to the charges on August 17, 2018.  According to the plea agreement, Solakian admitted that on March 23, 1995, and in August of 2004, and on September 25, 2017, he applied for a United States passport using the name and date of birth of another person.  Solakian admitted he used this method of applying for a passport because he did not want his true identity to be known.  According to court filings, on September 23, 1994, Solakian was charged in the Central District of California with conspiracy to import marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.  He failed to appear for a jury trial in that case and, according to his filings, “has lived in the Sonoma County area for the past 20 years prior to being arrested.”  

On February 15, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted defendant (as John Doe), charging him with two counts of making a false statement in a passport application, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542, and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A.  On February 16, 2018, DSS agents arrested Solakian and his true identity as a federal fugitive from the Central District of California (CDCA) was discovered. Pursuant to his plea agreement, Solakian pleaded guilty to one count each of making a false statement and identity theft.  The charges against him in the CDCA were dismissed on August 2, 2018.

In addition to the prison term, on Friday, November 2, 2018, Judge Illston ordered the defendant to serve a year of supervised release and to pay a fine of $5,000.  Defendant has been in custody since his arrest and will begin serving the sentence immediately.

Assistant United States Attorney Neal C. Hong is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kimberly Richardson.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DSS.  
 

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated November 5, 2018