…uses false identity, faces 10 years in jail with U.S. citizenship revoked.
A Nigerian, who works as an immigration services officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has been apprehended in Maryland for allegedly obtaining a U.S. citizenship using a false identity and charged to court.
The defendant’s false name is Karl Nwabugwu Odike Ifemembi while his real name is Modestus Nwagubwu Ifemembi, from Nigeria.
The charge of unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, and upon conviction, U.S. citizenship is automatically revoked, Persecondnews learnt.
He is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles E. Pell of the Santa Ana Branch Office.
Ifemembi, 48, who previously resided in Aliso Viejo, but relocated to Rockville, Maryland, last year, has worked for USCIS for seven years and is charged with the offence of unlawfully procuring U.S. citizenship.
Ifemembi made false statements on various government forms to obtain U.S. citizenship as well as employment with USCIS, according to the affidavit in support of the complaint, which has been unsealed.
Ifemembi first entered the United States in 2000 when he flew from France to Chicago with a British passport that had been issued to another person but had been altered to display Ifemembi’s photograph, according to the affidavit.
While immigration officials in Chicago caught Ifemembi – who admitted his fraudulent use of the U.K. passport, the affidavit states – he ultimately was granted asylum after falsely claiming his real name was “Karlos Mourfy” and that he was a native of Sierra Leone.
After being granted asylum, Ifemembi attended the University of California, Berkeley, which granted him a bachelor’s degree in 2004, and then obtained J.D. from the University of Oregon, School of Law and thereafter, in late 2010, “Karlos Mourfy” applied for U.S. citizenship and asked to change his name to Ifemembi – requests that were granted in May 2011.
Two years later in 2013, Ifemembi was hired by USCIS, according to the affidavit.
During the investigation into Ifemembi, federal investigators traveled to Africa – including his hometown of Akuma, Nigeria – and searched his Orange County residence in 2019, obtaining evidence about his true identity, including baptism, school and financial records.
Ifemembi is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The investigation into Ifemembi is being conducted by the United States Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services – Office of Investigations, and the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).