Federal agents arrested a Homeland Security immigration officer Wednesday, accusing him of lying about his own identity to falsely obtain asylum and citizenship himself.
Karl Nwabugwu Odike Ifemembi, whose real name in Nigeria was Modestus Nwagubwu Ifemembi, entered the U.S. in 2000 using a false passport, was caught then applied for and won asylum using another fake identity, prosecutors said.
After winning asylum, Mr. Ifemembi attended college and earned a law degree here in the U.S., and applied for citizenship in 2010. He also asked to change his name to his current identity of Ifemembi.
Both requests were granted in 2011, and two years later the Obama administration’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hired him. USCIS is the legal immigration agency that handles the very asylum and citizenship applications that Mr. Ifemembi is accused of defrauding.
During the probe into Mr. Ifemembi, investigators traveled to Africa to scout out his origins.
He stands charged with unlawful procurement of citizenship.
USCIS spokesperson Joe Sowers said they are aware of the case and are cooperating.
“We hold our employees to the highest standards of conduct,” he said.
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