BOSTON — A federal jury today convicted a Rwandan woman of lying to enter the country and again when seeking asylum. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Prudence Kantengwa, aka Prudentienne, 47, of Boston, who is a native and citizen of Rwanda, was convicted of fraud in immigration documents, visa fraud, perjury during testimony before an immigration judge and obstruction of administrative proceedings. Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2012.
Evidence at trial revealed that when Kantengwa entered the United States Jan. 29, 2004, she possessed and used a non-immigrant visa she had fraudulently obtained by providing false information when she submitted with her visa application. After arriving in the United States March 8, 2004, she provided false information to the U.S. government on a form which, if approved, would allow her to remain in the country. On specific dates between August 2006 and May 2008, Kantengwa committed perjury during testimony before an immigration court. Between March 2004 and December 2008, Kantengwa endeavored to obstruct administrative proceedings being conducted in connection with her application to stay in the United States by providing false and misleading testimony and submissions. The questions to which Kantengwa provided false information all involved her activities and associations during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
Kantengwa faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, on the fraudulent immigration document charges. Kantengwa also faces five years in prison, to be followed by three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the perjury and obstruction of administrative proceedings convictions.
HSI's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) investigates human rights violators, including those who have participated in war crimes and acts of genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers, who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States. These individuals may assume fraudulent identities to enter the country, seeking to blend into communities inside the United States. Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete the agency's online tip form. To learn more about the assistance available to victims in these cases, the public should contact HSI's confidential victim-witness toll-free number at 1-866-872-4973. Tips may be provided anonymously.
Since fiscal year 2004, HSI has arrested more than 200 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, HSI obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 400 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, HSI has more than 200 active investigations and HSI is pursuing more than 1,900 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from nearly 95 different countries.