Three Roanoke Residents Indicted on Passport Fraud Charge
ROANOKE, VA—Three Roanoke residents who were arrested June 10 for conspiring to obtain a fraudulent passport have been indicted by a Federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.
The grand jury has charged George Anyuon, 35, Joseph Albino, 33 and Abuk Kuac, 29, each with one count of conspiring to commit passport fraud by willfully furnishing and attempting to furnish to another a fraudulent passport.
According to the indictment, the purpose of the conspiracy was to obtain a false passport for “Witness One,” which passport would have a false name, and to use that false passport to assist Witness One in fleeing the United States to avoid unrelated criminal charges. It was part of the conspiracy for Witness One to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 for this service. It is also alleged that Witness One would transfer ownership of his small Roanoke business and his car to the conspirators as additional payment.
The indictment alleges that conspirators would use their connections in embassies in Washington D.C. to obtain the false passport for Witness One, who would then travel to a Washington D.C. airport and use the false passport to leave the United States.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum possible penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
The investigation of the case was conducted by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (H.S.I.), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, the United States Marshals Service and United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Bubar and Laura Day Rottenborn are prosecuting the case for the United States.
A Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.