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RALEIGH, N.C. – A Guilford County man arrested on charges of naturalization fraud, and passport fraud had an initial appearance today before United States Magistrate Judge James E. Gates in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A federal grand jury had returned an indictment charging Simbala Gory, age 44, a naturalized citizen of the U.S., born in Mali, residing in Guilford County, North Carolina, with naturalization fraud and passport fraud.

According to the indictment, Gory knowingly failed to disclose during his naturalization proceedings in 2016 that he had committed the crime of sex offense in a parental role and had forced a minor child under 18 years of age to engage in vaginal intercourse in 2009, in Guilford County, North Carolina. Gory was thereafter naturalized as a U.S. citizen on July 26, 2016.

Gory is charged in a seven-count indictment with naturalization fraud and passport fraud. If convicted of naturalization and passport fraud, he faces up to a maximum imprisonment term of 25 years per count, a $250,000 fine per count, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. A conviction for naturalization fraud also carries an automatic revocation of U.S. citizenship.

The North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry states in its public website that Gory was convicted of a sexual offense with certain victims on September 28, 2020. Gory, according to the Registry, committed the offense on June 1, 2009, and was sentenced to 84 months confinement.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Homeland Security Investigations, assigned to the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force, are investigating the case as part of Operation False Haven. Operation False Haven is an ongoing initiative to identify and prosecute egregious felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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