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Press Release

Barberton man guilty of lying on immigration forms regarding murder of Croatian couple

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

An Ohio man pleaded guilty to lying on his immigration documents by failing to disclose his role in the ethnically motivated murder of a Croatian couple during the war in the former Yugoslavia, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Marlon Miller, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio.

Slobodan Mutic, 52, of Barberton,  pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly and willingly possessing a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Form I-94, knowing it to be forged, counterfeited, altered, falsely made or to be have been procured by means of a false claim or statement.

"This nation is a haven for refugees, not human rights criminals,” Dettelbach said. “This defendant lied his way into this nation and he will be punished. And we also hope that he is held to account for any of his actions once he is returned to his home country to face justice."

"The investigation, prosecution, and ultimate removal of individuals like Mutic are paramount to the mission of Homeland Security Investigations and to the safety our communities,” Miller said. “Individuals like Mutic should realize that the United States is not a safe haven for people who have committed horrendous war crimes back in their home countries.”

Mutic possessed a Form I-94 in 2012 that he fraudulently procured. Mutic, on or about August 2001,falsely claimed “no” when filling out immigration forms that asked if he had ever “been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, fined or imprisoned for breaking any law or ordinance…” and again when asked if he had “ever engaged in any genocide, otherwise ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the killing of any person because of race, religion, nationality ethnic origin or political opinion,” according to court documents.

Those answers were false. Mutic was arrested, detained for a month and questioned by local law enforcement about the murder of Stjepan and Paula Cindric. The answers also contradicted statements  he made during a January 8, 1992 interview that were memorialized in an affidavit that Mutic signed, according to court documents.

In that affidavit, Mutic admitted to his participation in the murder of the Cindric family along with accomplice Dragan Perencevic. Mutic and Perencevic targeted the Cindrics because of their ethnicity, according to court documents.

Mutic is scheduled to be sentenced January 6, 2016. He will be subject to stipulated removal from the U.S. to Croatia upon completion of his sentence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karrie Howard and Matthew J. Cronin following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations.

Updated January 8, 2016