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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Federal Jury Convicts Charlotte Man of Using an Altered Document to Obtain a United States Passport, Passport Application Fraud and Making False Statements to Federal Agents

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury convicted John Daley Strothers, 59, of Charlotte, on four counts of using a false document in a federal matter, making a false statement to obtain a passport, possession of a fraudulent identification document (birth certificate) and making a false statement to federal agents, announced R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Murray is joined in making today’s announcement by Richard J. Ingram, Special Agent in Charge, Diplomatic Security Service, Washington Field Office, U.S. Department of State.

According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, Strothers engaged in fraudulent conduct to obtain a United States passport in the name of his alias Giovanni Daliente Strassini. Trial evidence established, on September 28, 2015, Strothers submitted an application for a United States passport at a postal facility in Charlotte. In support of the passport application, Strothers attached an Ohio birth certificate that was altered. The birth certificate Strothers submitted identified him in the name of his alias “Giovanni Daliente Strassini,” and it contained several other fraudulent alterations. Because of these alterations, Strothers’ application was referred to the fraud section of the United States passport processing center in Charleston, South Carolina. A witness from that section testified that they screen passport applications and the documents attached to them to ensure that only applicants who establish their true identities and prove their citizenship statuses are issued a United States passport.

During trial, a witness from the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, testified that nobody under the name “Giovanni Daliente Strassisni” had even been born in the State of Ohio. Trial evidence also established that the true birth certificate for the Strothers was issued in the name “John Daley Strothers.” Trial evidence further established that Strothers had previously submitted his true birth certificate, identifying himself as “John Daley Strothers,” in connection with a prior application for a United States passport submitted on October 7, 1996.

Finally, the Government’s evidence will show that Strothers participated in a voluntary interview with Special Agents of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service on or about March 1, 2016. During that interview, Strothers falsely stated that “Giovanni Daliente Strassini” was his birth name and that he did not submit an application for a United States passport on October 7, 1996.

The federal jury delivered the guilty verdict following a one and a half day trial. Strothers is currently released on bond. The penalty for using a false writing in a federal matter and giving false statements to federal agents is a maximum term of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The penalty for passport application fraud is a maximum term of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The penalty for possessing a fraudulent identification document is a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A sentencing date for the defendant has not been set.

The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service led this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Kenneth Smith and Casey Arrowood of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

Updated February 15, 2018