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Last updateWed, 18 Jul 2018 12am







    Tuesday, July 17, 2018-8:09:57P.M.






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Woman admits to making false statement on passport application

BERNIEANN Taitingfong Rahman, who was accused of lying in an application for a U.S. passport, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday last week.

According to the plea deal, Rahman submitted a DS-11 application for a U.S. passport to the CNMI passport office on July 6, 2017 on behalf of her daughter. Rahman omitted the name of her daughter’s father in the form.justiceScales01s

On Aug. 16, 2017, Rahman told Diplomatic Security Service resident-agent-in-charge Marc Weinstock and special agent Joseph Kramer that she omitted the father’s name because at that time the only birth certificate she had of her daughter also omitted the father’s name.

The federal agents said this was a knowing false statement because when Rahman submitted the application, she possessed the birth certificate of her child that included the father’s name.

On Nov. 6, 2017, when shown a copy of the birth certificate, Rahman said the reason she omitted the father’s name was because she could not find the birth certificate and she was in a hurry. She also said that the reason she did not obtain the father’s signature was because she would have to spend additional money.

Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy said her recommendation to accept the guilty plea will be referred to Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.

Judge Kennedy found a factual basis for the plea and that it was entered into knowingly and voluntarily without coercion or promises.

Represented by lawyer Steven Pixley, Rahman was indicted on Dec. 12, 2017 for false statement on passport application and false statement.

According to the indictment, on or about July 6, 2017, Rahman willfully and knowingly made 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 United States, for the use of another, contrary to the laws and rules regulating the issuance of passports.

Court documents stated that this is a Class D felony which carries a maximum penalty of not more than a five-year imprisonment; a fine not to exceed $250,000; not more than a three-year term of supervised release; and a $100 special assessment.