Mother who lied in her daughter’s passport application gets 2-year probation sentence


The federal court imposed last Friday a two-year probation sentence on a woman who was indicted for lying in her daughter’s U.S. passport application.

Bernieann Taitingfong Rahman was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $100 in special assessment fee.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona waived the mandatory drug testing, saying Rahman poses a low risk of future controlled substance abuse.

Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley had recommended a sentence of three months’ imprisonment. He, however, stated that the U.S. government would not object to Rahman serving the sentence via home detention.

The court-appointed counsel for Rahman, Steven Pixley, recommended a sentence of one year probation, saying this is not a serious crime and that Rahman agrees with the U.S. Probation Office’s recommendation that she should be sentenced to probation.

Pixley said a sentence of one year probation is both fair and reasonable. He pointed out that Rahman is a 42-year-old mother with no criminal history and has four children.

Pixley said the charges resulted from Rahman’s application for a passport for her daughter.

Last March, Rahman pleaded guilty to count 2 of the indictment charging her with false statement after a plea deal.

Rahman applied for U.S. passport for her daughter on July 6, 2017, omitting the name of her daughter’s father.

On Aug. 16, 2017, Rahman told Diplomatic Security Service resident agent in charge Marc Weinstock and special agent Joseph Kramer that she did that because, at the time, the only birth certificate she had of her daughter also omitted the father’s name.

This was false because Rahman did have a birth certificate for her daughter that had the name of the father.

On Nov. 6, 2017, when confronted with the second birth certificate, Rahman told Diplomatic Security Service agents that the reason she omitted the father’s name was because she could not find the second birth certificate and she was in a hurry.

She also stated in a written statement dated Aug. 16, 2017, that the reason she did not obtain the father’s signature was because she would have to spend more money.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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