Diplomatic Security probe leads to conviction for ex-Foreign Service Officer
The Informer Former Foreign Service Officer sentenced in visa fraud conspiracy On March 1, 2007, Judge John W. Darrah, Northern District of Illinois, sentenced Matthew Christ to 24 months incarceration, three years supervised release and imposed a $5,000 fine. The court ordered Christ to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on April 23, 2007. A federal jury in the Northern District of Illinois found Matthew Christ guilty of conspiracy (to commit visa fraud), 18 USC 371, on November 1,2006. Christ was a Foreign Service Officer, stationed at U.S. Embassy Vilnius, Lithuania, from August, 1999 to July, 2001. Christ was assigned as a political-economics officer at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius where he conspired to fraudulently provide non-immigrant visas. The trial began on October 23, 2006. Nine others also have been convicted in the case, the U.S. Attorney's office said. The co-conspirators obtained visas from Christ without the applicants’ having to appear in person at the American Embassy in Vilnius. The recipients then used the visas they fraudulently obtained to enter the United States, with most arriving at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The sentencing and conviction is the result of a 22-month investigation led by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago with cooperation from Lithuanian law enforcement authorities. DS has investigated other cases of passport and visa fraud that have been connected to drug trafficking, international organized crime, Money laundering, peadophilia, and murder. If you are a law enforcement agency and require assistance in the US, in particular with matters on US passport and visa fraud, we can assist. DS is a primary liaison agency with police and security services overseas in an effort to obtain support for US law enforcement initiatives and investigations. The Bureau receives more than 5,000 requests for overseas investigative assistance from US law enforcement each year, and has achieved noteworthy success in locating and apprehending wanted.