Federal officials announced the arrest on Monday of a Crown Point, Indiana, man for unlawfully getting U.S. citizenship by allegedly failing to disclose his Bosnian Serb Military service.
The man also was charged with failing to disclose to immigration authorities that he had murder charges during the Bosnia Conflict in the 1990s
Alexander Kneginich, 56, was indicted under seal by a federal grand jury on last week with fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship after he emigrated from Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United States, according to officials.
Kneginich was arrested in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Monday morning, and the indictment was unsealed after his initial appearance.
The indictment alleges that Kneginich told a series of lies to U.S. immigration authorities in the course of obtaining authority to enter the United States as a refugee, that enabled him to subsequently get permanent-resident status and ultimately attain U.S. citizenship.
Specifically, when he applied for refugee status, Kneginich is alleged to have falsely stated that his wife was an ethnic Croatian and that, because he is Serbian, they had to flee Bosnia to avoid the persecution experienced by persons in ethnically-mixed marriages.
The indictment alleges that Kneginich failed to disclose the following information:
- Failed to disclose in both his refugee application and his permanent-resident application that he had served in Bosnian Serb Military units during the Balkans Conflict of the early 1990s
- Failed to disclose in those applications that he had been charged, jailed and tried in Bosnia for the 1994 murders of two Muslim civilians
- Falsely stated in his naturalization application that he had never lied to U.S. immigration authorities to obtain immigration benefits.