GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A federal jury in Charlotte convicted a naturalized citizen of Jamaica, of naturalization fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of NC.
According to filed documents, in 2008, while Palmer was residing in Gastonia, he sexually abused a minor. Palmer later obtained his U.S. citizenship fraudulently by providing materially false information on his citizenship application, authorities said.
Trial evidence established that, during the naturalization process, Palmer lied about his criminal history, and failed to admit that prior to applying for citizenship, he had knowingly committed sexual acts with a child, authorities said.
According to trial evidence, on May 5, 2011, Palmer submitted an application for naturalization to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Authorities said Palmer lied on the application form by responding “No” to the question “Have you ever committed a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?”
Palmer signed the form under penalty of perjury and certified that his answers were true and correct. On October 5, 2011, Palmer appeared at the CIS office in Charlotte for a naturalization interview. During the interview, authorities said Palmer swore under oath that his responses on the naturalization application were true and that he had never committed a crime for which he had not been arrested.
On October 20, 2011, Palmer participated in a naturalization ceremony at the CIS office in Charlotte and was granted U.S. citizenship, authorities said.
Court documents show that while Palmer was going through the naturalization process, immigration officials were not aware of his criminal actions.
Palmer is currently serving a state prison sentence. The maximum penalty for unlawful procurement of citizenship is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, officials said.
A sentencing date has not been set.