Marine Corps Officer and Two-Time Iraq War Veteran Pleads Guilty to Citizenship Fraud Conspiracy

Conspired with former FBI and CIA employee Nada Prouty in naturalization fraud DETRIOT, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Samar Khalil Spinelli, 39, currently of Okinawa, Japan , formerly of Taylor, Mich., a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps...

Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who stated that, "becoming an American citizen is privilege not a right." "We will not tolerate those who pledge their allegiance to this nation knowing that the oath they took was achieved through lies and fraud. ICE Special Agents will work with our partners in the U.S. Attorney's Office to ensure that those privileges are removed."

Under the terms of the plea agreement with the government, Spinelli is facing a term of imprisonment of 6 to 12 months and must separate from the U.S. Marine Corps. A sentencing date has not been set.

El Aouar's husband, Talal Chahine is currently a fugitive believed to be in Lebanon . He was charged in 2006 in the Eastern District of Michigan with tax evasion in connection with a scheme to conceal more than $20 million in cash received by La Shish restaurants and to route funds to persons in Lebanon . Last month, Chahine was also charged in the Eastern District of Michigan, along with a senior ICE official in Detroit and others in a bribery and extortion conspiracy in which federal immigration benefits were allegedly awarded to illegal aliens in exchange for money.

The ongoing investigation into this matter is being conducted by the FBI and ICE, with assistance from the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Mr. Murphy also extended his appreciation to the U.S. Marine Corps for its full cooperation in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Eric M. Straus, Chief of the National Security Unit, and Kenneth R. Chadwell, Assistant U.S. Attorney, from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Michigan, as well as Mark J. Jebson, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and Senior Assistant Chief Counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice