Feds arrest Ethiopian diplomat on visa fraud charges

An Ethiopian diplomat was arrested by feds for visa fraud violations arising out of the use of non-immigrant diplomatic visas for family members who did not qualify under federal regulations.

An Ethiopian diplomat was arrested by feds for visa fraud violations arising out of the use of non-immigrant diplomatic visas for family members who did not qualify under federal regulations.

Desta Woldeyohannes Delkasso, 54, an Ethiopian national assigned to the Ethiopian government’s Consulate General as the Deputy Consul General in Los Angeles, was charged in a 3-count indictment. She is charged with 3 counts of visa fraud, including falsely stating that her brother and his wife were “single” and “fully supported by her” and that their minor child was her “son.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

According to the allegations in the indictment, Delkasso caused the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send letters required for the visas to the Embassy of the United States in July and August 2016, stating that Delkasso would be accompanied by family members who would stay in Los Angeles until the end of the diplomatic term. The letters stated that her nephew was her “son” and that her brother and sister-in-law were “dependents” and “fully supported by her.”

Based on this information, her family members were then issued A-1 diplomatic visas to enter the United States.

Delkasso’s brother and his son have lived in Washington, D.C. since their arrival in the United States, and as alleged in the indictment, never resided in Los Angeles.

An indictment contains allegations that a Ethiopian diplomat has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

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