Jury Convicts Columbus Man of Illegally Gaining Citizenship
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A United States District Court jury convicted Maqsood Haroon, 41, of Columbus, Ohio, of unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, announced the verdict reached today which was returned following a trial that began on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by HSI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys David DeVillers and Jessica Kim, who prosecuted the case.
According to court testimony, Haroon traveled from Pakistan to America on a visitor’s visa before marrying a U.S. citizen. He then completed the naturalization process to become a United States Citizen.
Throughout that process, Haroon made false statements that he had no other wife or children, when in fact, he was previously married in Pakistan and had children.
"Committing fraud to obtain citizenship or any U.S. immigration benefit represents an egregious breach of the nation's legal system and is a blatant affront to those who play by the rules," said Miller. "HSI will continue to aggressively move against those engaged in such criminal acts."
Procurement of citizenship or naturalization unlawfully is a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.