Three Iraqi refugees living in Virginia face charges of immigration fraud after federal prosecutors alleged they hid their family relationship to an accused kidnapper in Iraq, the U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Yousif Al Mashhadani, Adil Hasan and Enas Ibrahim are legal U.S. residents who arrived as refugees in 2008. Ibrahim and Hasan are married. The three had applied in 2013 to become U.S. citizens.
In an affidavit made public Tuesday morning, an FBI investigator alleged that Al Mashhadani, 35, and Hasan, 38, did not disclose the name of their brother, Majid Al Mashhadani, during the application process to obtain refugee designation, first by UNHCR in Jordan, and then in U.S. immigration paperwork and interviews.
Majid Al Mashhadani was linked to the kidnapping of a U.S. citizen in Iraq in 2004 and, according to the affidavit, admitted to the crime in an interview with FBI agents in Iraq in November 2005.
One of the brothers explained to a federal agent that they did not include Majid's name as required throughout the process because they worried it would jeopardize their refugee application, an FBI agent wrote.
Additionally, Hasan admitted to the agent he "embellished" an account of being held by a militia in Iraq in connection with his work as an anti-corruption investigator, according to the affidavit.
Al Mashhadani, Hasan and Ibrahim face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. They are scheduled for a hearing in Virginia on Tuesday afternoon.