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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Watertown Man Convicted of Naturalization Fraud

Gurpreet Singh Found Guilty of Unlawfully Obtaining U.S. Citizenship

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Gurpreet Singh, age 37, of Watertown, New York, was convicted today of unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship following a jury trial.

 

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

 

The trial evidence established that Singh, who was a citizen of India, repeatedly affirmed to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorities prior to his U.S. naturalization that he had not committed any crimes for which he was not arrested. Immigration authorities later learned that the defendant sexually abused a child under the age of 10 during the same time period he was applying for citizenship. The trial evidence demonstrated that Singh deliberately failed to report his criminal activity because he knew he was not entitled to citizenship and that USCIS would not have approved Singh’s naturalization application if the agency had known about his abuse of the child. Singh ultimately pled guilty in state court to a single count of sexual abuse of a minor child, but by then had already become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

 

Singh will be sentenced by Senior District Judge Norman A. Mordue on May 18, 2016 and faces up to 10 years in prison, up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and mandatory revocation of his naturalization because of his federal court conviction. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael F. Perry and Robert S. Levine.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Updated January 20, 2017