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    Thursday, June 21, 2018-11:42:25P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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US court unseals indictment against BernieAnn Taitingfong Rahman

THE federal court on Thursday unsealed an indictment against a woman charged with providing false statements in a passport application.

The indictment was filed on Dec. 12, 2017 against BernieAnn Taitingfong Rahman. It stated that on or about July 6, 2017, Rahman willfully and knowingly made a false statement in an application for a passport with the intent to induce and secure the issuance of a passport under the authority of the U.S., for the use of another, contrary to the laws and rules regulating the issuance of passports.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O’Malley, who filed the indictment, stated that Rahman omitted the name of her daughter’s father on the application form.

O’Malley also stated that on or about Nov. 6, 2017, Rahman made a materially false statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the government of the U.S.

The prosecutor stated that Rahman falsely stated and represented to the agents of the Diplomatic Security Service that she had not yet obtained her daughter’s amended birth certificate which listed the name of her daughter’s father — a representation she knew was false and fraudulent, O’Malley added.

He asked the District Court for the NMI to seal the case as the investigation was still ongoing and the premature disclosure of the records could jeopardize the investigation.

But O’Malley also requested that the matter be automatically unsealed without further order of the court after the defendant had been brought to court for her initial appearance.

Rahman appeared in court to answer the indictment on Thursday at 10 a.m. Attorney Steven Pixley was appointed by the court to represent her.

O’ Malley did not ask the court to detain Rahman pending trial while the federal probation office recommended the defendant’s release on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

Rahman, through Pixley, waived the formal advisement of her rights and reading of the charges against her. Rahman then entered a plea of not guilty to both charges.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona accepted the plea and set the jury trial for March 20, 2018 at 10 a.m.

The judge also ordered the release of the defendant upon posting a $1,000 unsecured bond.