Document and Benefit Fraud
ORLANDO, Fla. – An illegally present Haitian national was sentenced yesterday to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations (ERO), as part of Homeland Security Investigation’s (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
“ICE places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud,” said acting Miami Field Office Director Michael W. Meade. “The U.S. passport is one of the most coveted travel documents in the world. Illegal aliens who fraudulently acquire U.S. passports threaten our national security.”
According to court documents, in 2007, Alain Nezius, 36, was removed to Haiti following multiple convictions for possession of cocaine, delivery of cocaine, and possession of cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver it. He illegally returned to the United States after being deported and has a current outstanding order of removal with the Department of Homeland Security.
After illegally reentering the United States, Nezius assumed his deceased brother’s identity and obtained a Florida driver license in his brother’s name. On April 17, 2018, Nezius attached and submitted his own photo with an application to renew his brother’s U.S. passport. The U.S. Department of State recognized that the alleged passport applicant was deceased and that the submitted photograph did not match the previous photographs associated with the passport. On the passport application, Nezius represented himself to be his deceased brother, who was a naturalized U.S. citizen. Nezius had pleaded guilty on January 29, 2019.
This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Bayliss, on assignment from the Office of Principal Legal Advisor, ICE.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/18/2019
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