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Document and Benefit Fraud

Iranian allegedly forged a letter from U.N. official in support of immigration applications

BALTIMORE - A criminal complaint has been filed charging Hossein Dehbashi, 38, an Iranian national living in Gaithersburg, Md., with submitting a document he knew to be false, purportedly written by a high level United Nations (U.N.) official, in support of his immigration applications. Dehbashi was arrested on June 6, 2010, and had an initial appearance this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Dehbashi was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.

The charge was announced by U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Baltimore; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Those who corrupt the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system must understand there are serious consequences for those actions," said Winter. "ICE will aggressively identify and prosecute those who engage in fraud to exploit the system."

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Dehbashi was admitted to the United States on May 28, 2006, on a visa as a foreign media representative who was working on a documentary about the United Nations. In February 2007, Dehbashi filed an application to become a lawful permanent resident simultaneously with an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. In support of his applications Dehbashi supplied a letter purported to be from the director of communications of the United Nations which the complaint alleges was, in fact, false.

Dehbashi faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for submitting a false document in support of his immigration applications. Dehbashi is scheduled to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today at 3:00 p.m.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

U. S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U. S. Attorney Greg Welsh, who is prosecuting the case.