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Document and Benefit Fraud

Lebanese man convicted of attempted naturalization fraud

DETROIT — A Lebanese citizen was convicted Friday of making false statements in connection with his naturalization application. The conviction is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Criminal Investigative Liaison Branch, and their Regional Security Office, U.S. Embassy Beirut.

According to court documents, Fadi Bazzi, 49, made false statements on his naturalization application to become a U.S. citizen. During his application for citizenship, Bazzi, withheld information that he had previously been convicted of theft in his native country. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment for the theft conviction.

He was also later arrested and convicted of retail fraud in Redford, Michigan. He failed to disclose both his criminal history in Lebanon and his criminal history in Michigan in his application for naturalization. He subsequently lied to immigration officials in interviews about his past.

As a result of his omissions, he illegally obtained legal permanent residency status and continued to lie to U.S. immigration authorities during naturalization proceedings. His naturalization was never finalized.

After the criminal charges have been fully adjudicated, Bazzi will be placed in removal proceedings.