21 Oct 2014

Samoan caught in Alaska passport fraud

5:20 pm on 21 October 2014

A Samoan woman has been sentenced in the federal court of Alaska to five years on probation for committing passport fraud.

Maualuga Leaana was indicted in April 2014 on federal charges that she committed identity theft and falsely claimed US citizenship to obtain various federal and state benefits.

Leaana, who is a citizen of Samoa, used her sister's American Samoa birth certificate to obtain a US passport and other benefits while living in Alaska.

Leaana pleaded guilty to the passport fraud charge in July and admitted applying for and obtaining a US passport in the name of her sister.

She has been ordered to spend four months on home confinement and pay restitution totaling just over 30,000 US dollars for unemployment benefits that she unlawfully obtained.