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Ghanaian woman convicted of immigration fraud in US
A Ghanaian woman residing in Alexandria, Virginia faces a maximum sentence of 35 years behind bars after a federal jury convicted her on charges she used a fake identity to get U.S. citizenship.
Lady Jacqueline Locotin, also known as Joyce Amene Obese, a native of Ghana, was convicted in federal court on one count of unlawfully procuring naturalization, two counts of passport fraud and the misuse of a Social Security number on November 17.
City police, working in conjunction with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, arrested Locotin in her Alexandria home on June 7.
Locotin originally entered the country using a fake name and documents in 1992, requesting political asylum, officials said. She received a Social Security number under theLocotin identity while awaiting an immigration hearing scheduled for October 1993.
She skipped the hearing and later left the country, but not before having a child in 1996, court documents say.
In March 1997, Locotin received a visa to enter the United States under the name of Joyce Amene Obese as the dependent spouse of a diversity visa lottery winner. In her application, she failed to report her previous stay in the United States as well as the child born in 1996 while she was under an order of removal. She used the fraudulent identity to enter the United States, obtain a U.S. passport and become a naturalized U.S. citizen under the Obese alias.
She was arrested after the Alexandria Police Department located Locotin hiding in the closet of her Alexandria home on June 7, 2011. Examination of photographs and fingerprint evidence verified that Locotin and Obese were the same individual.