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Man Charged With Fake Sept. 11 Death

February 14, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ A man who faked his own death in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack was caught at a mailbox by U.S. marshals, a prosecutor said.

Steven Chin Leung, 27, of Hong Kong, was held without bail Wednesday after Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Barofsky described in court how marshals nabbed Leung on Tuesday. Barofsky said Leung had opened several mailbox accounts at city businesses.

Authorities allege he faked his death to try to escape prosecution on a passport fraud charge He had been released on bail after his April 2001 arrest for allegedly committing passport fraud in Hawaii.

Leung said nothing during the court appearance before U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in Manhattan.

To support his claim that he died at the World Trade Center, Leung submitted to the city a fictitious document that purported to be a printout of an e-mail between him and a financial services firm employee stating that he began working for the company on Sept. 4 as an independent contractor, prosecutors said.

Leung admitted to deputy marshals he had posed as two fictitious brothers, William and Jeffrey Leung, to talk to his lawyer and the city law department to try to get a death certificate, Barofsky said.

The prosecutor said Leung has no brothers.

``Mr. Leung finally admitted that this was all a ruse,″ Barofsky said.

Leung could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted of charges including bail jumping, obstruction of justice and passport fraud.

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