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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rwandan Refugee Who Became Naturalized Citizen Is Indicted For Naturalization Fraud

Ken Ngombwa, 54, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been charged with one count of unlawfully procuring or attempting to procure naturalization or citizenship; one count of procuring citizenship to which he was not entitled; one count of conspiracy to unlawfully procure citizenship; and one count of making a materially false statement to agents of the United States.  The charges are contained in an Indictment unsealed today, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids, following the arrest of Ngombwa without incident in Cedar Rapids. 

The Indictment alleges that beginning in at least March 1998 and continuing through at least November 19, 2004, Ngombwa attempted to procure citizenship for himself and family members who accompanied him to the United States from Rwanda.  According to the Indictment, Ngombwa and others made a number of false statements that were relied upon by United States immigration authorities in deciding to grant Ngombwa refugee status and permanent resident alien status; which eventually permitted Ngombwa to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.  The alleged false statements included a claim that Ngombwa is the brother of Faustin Twagiramungu, a former Prime Minister of Rwanda.

If convicted on all counts, Ngombwa faces a possible maximum sentence of 30
years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, $400 in special assessments, and 12 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.­ Ngombwa also faces loss of citizenship.

Ngombwa appeared today in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was released on bond.  Ngombwa was ordered to: surrender any passport or travel documents; not travel outside of Linn County, Iowa; have no contact with potential witness concerning the case; and undergo a mental health evaluation.  Other standard conditions of release were also imposed.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Murphy and was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is 14-CR-00123.

Component(s): 
Updated February 19, 2015