NEWARK—An Edison man admitted Tuesday that he committed a crime when he lied in order to become a citizen of the United States, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Alaa El Saadawi, 40, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh to one count of making a false statement to and concealing a material fact from the United States—count one of the indictment against him.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, El Saadawi filed an Application for Naturalization form, Form N-400, with the Immigration and Naturalization Service on Aug. 8, 2001, for the purpose of obtaining United States citizenship. The form asked whether El Saadawi had ever knowingly committed any crime for which he had not been arrested. El Saadawi answered “no” to that question.
On July 10, 2002, in furtherance of his naturalization process, El Saadawi appeared before a district adjudications officer in New Jersey and was placed under oath. El Saadawi admitted that while under oath, he again denied ever having committed a crime for which he had not been arrested. However, El Saadawi had committed a crime when he conspired with others to fail to file an accurate report as required by law in connection with taking $659,000 out of the United States in April 2002.
Following his interview with the district adjudications officer, El Saadawi became a citizen of the United States.
The charge to which El Saadawi pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, however, call for a term of months to be determined based on criminal history and other factors. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 26.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, as well as the other members of the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The JTTF is made up of agents and officers of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, New Jersey State Police, Jersey City Police Department, Bayonne Police Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other law enforcement agencies.
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