Probationer allegedly traveled to Guam twice without notification

A woman who was sentenced last year to two years of probation for lying in a passport application for her daughter was discovered to have traveled to Guam twice without notifying the U.S. Probation Office—a violation of the terms of her supervised release.

Because of this, U.S. probation officer Gregory F. Arriola has asked that Bernieann Taitingfong Rahman be made to explain before the U.S. District Court for the NMI. Without a credible explanation, Rahman runs the risk of having her supervised release revoked or modified.

Rahman was convicted of lying on Aug. 3, 2018, and was sentenced to two years of probation with conditions. Her probation is set to expire on Aug. 2, 2020.

According to Arriola, Rahman failed to submit monthly supervision reports for October, November, and December in 2018, and in January 2019. Rahman also submitted late reports for March and April 2019.

When Rahman failed to show up at the U.S. Probation Office in April, Arriola said he and probation officer Juanette David-Atalig attempted to contact Rahman, without success.

On April 10, 2019, Arriola said he received information that Rahman had gone to Guam on Feb. 10, 2019, and returned on March 12, 2019. He also got information that Rahman had also gone to Guam on March 14, 2019, and returned to Saipan on April 11, 2019. Both travels were supposedly for work-related matters but Arriola noted that Rahman is jobless.

Last April 11, Arriola visited Rahman at her home and confronted her about her travels to Guam. She allegedly admitted it and apologized for leaving Saipan without proper authorization, explaining that she went to visit someone in Guam, and to attend a funeral service for her goddaughter.

She explained that she did not make a request with the U.S. Probation Office because she was “scared” that her travel request would not be approved.

Arriola said he called the person with whom Rahman stayed with in Guam to verify Rahman’s story. He said that person confirmed that Rahman was with him in Guam and that he paid for her airfare when she visited him in February and March 2019, but the person does not recall Rahman attending a funeral while in Guam.

When presented with this information, Arriola said, Rahman admitted lying about it and apologized.

He said Rahman also wants to leave Saipan because she is having issues in her household and wants to escape her problems and relocate to Guam to find a job.

Arriola said that Rahman already paid her $100 special assessment fee last December and that she is currently working on completing her 100 hours of community service.

In March 2018, Rahman pleaded guilty to lying in a DS-11 application for U.S. passport as part of a plea deal. Rahman filed the DS-11 on July 6, 2017, on behalf of her daughter, omitting the name of her daughter’s father in the application.

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

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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