Woman gets 2-year probation for making false statements to USCIS

The federal court has imposed a two-year probation sentence on a woman who entered a guilty plea to an indictment for making fraudulent statements to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Friday also ordered Jonie Esther B. Babauta to pay a $150 fine and $100 in court assessment fee.

During the probationary period, Babauta is required not to use or possess illegal drugs and not possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon.

Court documents identified the defendant as Jonie Esther B. Uddin. The defendant stated that her full name is Jonie Esther B. Babauta.

Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing concurred with U.S. Probation Officer Gregory Arriola and defense counsel Benjamin Petersburg to a sentence at the low end of the sentencing guideline range.

Petersburg agreed with Lorfing that a two-year probation sentence would be appropriate.

Attorney Mark Hanson, Petersburg’s co-counsel, stated in court papers that under the circumstances, given Babauta’s personal history, her honesty, and her first-time offender status, a sentence of two years of probation with appropriate terms and conditions would be more than sufficient, not greater than necessary, to effectuate the purposes of sentencing.

Hanson said Babauta signed an immigration document, which was prepared by another person under the penalty of perjury.

Hanson said that document contained a false statement regarding the defendant’s residence.

“While we do not seek to overly downplay this offense, we do not that it is non-violent and that [Babauta] was honest and forthcoming with immigration officers and took responsibility for her actions at her first interview with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services,” the lawyer pointed out.

At a change of plea hearing last February, the defendant pleaded guilty to the indictment charging her with one count of false statement.

According to the indictment, Babauta made the false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations to USCIS on Nov. 18, 2011.

In a form I-130, the defendant allegedly represented that she lived in Chalan Piao with Tamiz Uddin, which she knew such representations were false in that she did not live in Chalan Piao and had never lived with Tamiz Uddin.

Form I-130 refers to a U.S. citizen’s petition for an alien relative.

Additionally, in the form G-325 (biographic information), the defendant again allegedly represented that she lived in Chalan Piao.

A separate indictment was also filed against Tamiz Uddin charging him with one count of false statement.

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