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Press Release

Loganville Man Sentenced for Naturalization Fraud in Connection with Past as a Concentration Camp Prison Guard During Bosnian War

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

ATLANTA - Mladen Mitrovic has been sentenced to four years, nine months, in prison after being convicted earlier this year of naturalization fraud.  The evidence at his trial showed that Mitrovic provided false and fraudulent information in his naturalization application to hide his work as a prison guard in a concentration camp that was part of the infamous “ethnic cleansing” that occurred during the Bosnian War in 1992.

“Mitrovic believed he could bury his past and the horrific human rights violations he committed during the Bosnian War,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Our immigration system endeavors to flag those who have committed human rights violations, especially for those who seek refugee status from persecution.  Mitrovic’s application turned this humanitarian process on its head.  It’s incredibly fitting that he ultimately was discovered by a refugee from Mitrovic’s own abuses.”

“The defendant tried to game our country’s immigration process to conceal his record of flagrant human rights violations,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Together with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and HSI, however, the Criminal Division was able to ensure that both his immigration crimes and his human rights abuses saw the light of day.  Cases like this demonstrate how we ensure that the United States does not become a safe haven for human rights violators.”

“Human rights violators who think they can conceal their past to escape accountability in the United States are sorely mistaken,” said Nick S. Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta. “This individual tried to cheat our nation's immigration system by lying about his actions during the Bosnian Civil War. Today's result shows that HSI is firmly committed to investigating and identifying criminals who seek to exploit our nation's welcoming policy toward legitimate war refugees.” 

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: In 1996, Mitrovic was permitted to immigrate to the United States based on his statements in his refugee application that he feared persecution if he remained in Bosnia.  In 2002, he naturalized as an American citizen.  The evidence presented at trial also demonstrated that on his naturalization application, Mitrovic stated, among other things, that he had never persecuted anyone because of their race, religion or membership in a social group; he had never committed a criminal offense for which he had not been arrested; and he had never provided any false or misleading information to obtain an immigration benefit, such as refugee status.

In reality, as the trial evidence established, during the Bosnian War, Mitrovic had been a guard in one of the prison camps that the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) opened in May 1992 to “ethnically cleanse” northwest Bosnia of non-Serb minorities.  At trial, one victim testified that Mitrovic had used a sharp military knife to carve a Christian cross into his chest, saying from that moment on, he “was going to be a Serb.”  Others testified that Mitrovic and other soldiers beat non-Serb prisoners into unconsciousness or threatened to kill them with automatic rifles.  Bosnian government documents also showed that in February 1996, Mitrovic applied for and was later awarded veterans’ benefits for his military service in the VRS during the Bosnian War.  Trial evidence showed that Mitrovic failed to disclose any of this conduct or military service on his refugee and naturalization applications.

U.S. authorities began investigating based on information provided by a former prisoner from the prison camp where Mitrovic had served.  That individual, who also came to the United States as a refugee, thought that Mitrovic had died during the war.  But in 2011, he learned that Mitrovic was living in the Atlanta area and he contacted U.S. immigration authorities.  At the sentencing hearing, that prisoner and another former prisoner, also a refugee in the United States, addressed the court.  One said that he would never forget how people looked after Mitrovic and other soldiers had beaten and tortured them.  At trial, the other prisoner testified how shocked and frightened he had been when Mitrovic, a friend before the war, threatened to kill him with an automatic rifle.

Mladen Mitrovic, 55, of Loganville, Georgia, was found guilty by a jury on May 26, 2016.  He has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release.  The court also granted a motion to revoke Mitrovic’s citizenship, but the revocation order will not go into effect until after a federal court of appeals reviews Mitrovic’s conviction and sentence.  The Department of Homeland Security will initiate administrative proceedings for the purpose of removing Mitrovic from the United States after his appeal is completed.    

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Traynor and Jessica Morris, and Christina Giffin, Assistant Deputy Chief of the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Justice Department, prosecuted the case.

If you have information about individuals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes, please call the ICE HSI tip line at 866-DHS-2-ICE, or complete its online tip form,  Information may also be provided to the U.S. Department of Justice, Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section by sending an email to or calling 1-800-813-5863. Tips may be reported anonymously.   

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated August 30, 2016