Watertown, N.Y., man sentenced for citizenship fraud, will lose status


An Indian-American man from Watertown, New York, will lose his citizenship after serving his prison sentence because of fraudulent information he gave at the time of his naturalization process.

Gurpreet Singh, 37, was sentenced July 11, in federal court in Syracuse, N.Y., to three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, following a jury trial in January where he was convicted of knowingly obtaining U.S. citizenship through unlawful naturalization.

Because of this conviction, Singh’s U.S. citizenship will be revoked by law, announced Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Grant C. Jaquith, in a press release.

The trial evidence showed that Singh, who is originally from India, repeatedly affirmed to United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) authorities that he had not committed any crimes for which he was not arrested.

Immigration authorities later learned that the defendant sexually abused a 9-year-old child during the same time-period he was applying for U.S. citizenship. Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Singh deliberately failed to report his criminal activity to USCIS because he knew that USCIS would not have approved his naturalization application if the agency had known about his crimes.

Singh pled guilty in New York state court to a single count of sexual abuse of a minor child, after he had become a naturalized U.S. citizen. Singh was arrested by the City of Watertown (New York) Police Department the day after his naturalization ceremony in April 2012.

While on supervised release following his prison term, Singh will be required to register as a sex offender and will be prohibited from having direct contact with children under the age of 18 (other than his own) and from going to places where children under 18 are likely to congregate, such as parks, libraries, and schools, without prior permission of a probation officer, the press release said.



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