Vermont Man Convicted of Fraudulently Obtaining United States Citizenship
BURLINGTON—A Bosnian-born Burlington, Vermont man was found guilty today of obtaining his naturalized citizenship through fraud by giving false information to a U.S. official while applying for an immigration benefit and lying to gain entry into the United States.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles of the District of Vermont, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Special Agent in Charge Bruce Foucart of the HSI Boston Office and Special Agent in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Albany Field Office made the announcement.
Edin Sakoc, 55, of Burlington, Vermont, was convicted following an eight day jury trial on one count of obtaining naturalization contrary to law in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1425(a). The jury unanimously concluded that Sakoc had lied on his naturalization application when he denied previously lying to U.S. immigration officials to gain an immigration benefit and when he denied ever lying to obtain entry to the United States. Sakoc faces a sentence of imprisonment of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine and denaturalization as a consequence of his conviction. He will remain on release conditions until his sentencing.
Members of the public who have information about former human rights violators in the United States are urged to contact U.S. law enforcement through the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-800-813-5863 or the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete its online tip form at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.
The case was investigated jointly by HSI Burlington and the FBI’s Albany Division. ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center assisted in this investigation. Valuable assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and its counterpart at the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Jay Bauer of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Acting United States Attorney Eugenia A.P. Cowles of the District of Vermont.