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Former Liberian official heads to trial on immigration fraud

June 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Liberian man accused of lying on his U.S. citizenship application about his ties to convicted war criminals, including ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor, is heading to trial in federal court, just months after another man from the west African country was sentenced to prison in a similar case.

Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, also known as Thomas Smith, is facing multiple charges Monday related to fraud in immigration documents. Woewiyu has lived in the Philadelphia area since the 1970s, commuting back and forth to Liberia.

Prosecutors allege when Woewiyu applied for citizenship in 2006, he lied about his role in civil war atrocities. A lawyer for Woewiyu didn’t return a message Friday.

Mohammed Jabbateh was sentenced in April to 30 years for immigration fraud in deceiving immigration officials about his role in Liberia’s violent war crimes.

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