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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read