Arizona man who lied about Bosnian War role found guilty of immigration fraud
Jun 3, 2023, 5:45 AM
PHOENIX — An Arizona man was recently found guilty of lying about his participation in the Bosnian War while trying to become a U.S. citizen, authorities said.
A federal grand jury convicted Sinisa Djurdjic, on charges of visa fraud and attempted unlawful procurement of citizenship on May 19, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a press release.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Aug. 8.
Djurdjic emigrated to Tucson as a refugee in 2000. He denied serving in foreign military and police units on various immigration applications, according to the release.
However, Homeland Security Investigations launched an investigation in 2009 after learning that Djurdjic may have been a member of a police brigade that committed atrocities during the 1990s civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Prosecutors say Djurdjic was a prison guard for a Bosnian-Serb entity that espoused the idea of “ethnic cleansing.”
During Djurdjic’s nine-day trial, five Bosnian men testified that they suffered or witnessed abuse at his hands while they were held at prison camps.
“We commend the courage and tenacity of the Bosnians who testified against the defendant and held him accountable for his false statements while seeking legal status in the United States,” U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino said in the release.
“Providing opportunities for refugees and asylees is quintessentially American. Safeguarding those opportunities requires vigilance to ensure that the American dream is foreclosed to those who lie about a disqualifying past.”