Nationwide passport fraud investigation nets Bay Area residents

Dozens of Bay Area residents are among more than 100 people nationwide charged in what is being called the largest ever investigation into U.S. passport fraud, federal authorities announced Tuesday

The suspects charged in “Operation Deathmatch,” an investigation by the U.S. State Department and the FBI that resulted in federal passport fraud charges against 112 people, included fugitives, military deserters, sex offenders, delinquent taxpayers and undocumented immigrants from more than 20 countries, according to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

In each of the cases, the suspects allegedly applied for, and received, U.S. passports using the birth certificates of deceased U.S.
citizens.

The charges were filed between July 2005 and August of this year, authorities said. Law enforcement also seized $650,000 in cash, firearms and more than 80 of the fraudulent passports.

In the Bay Area, 35 people were charged, including an alleged undocumented female acrobat from Japan who remains a fugitive, a 16-year deserter of the U.S. Navy, and a convicted drunken driver allegedly trying to hide the fact from employers, according to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Authorities said many of the suspects lived and worked under their assumed identities for decades without family, friends or employers ever knowing their true names.

Bay City News Service

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Most Read