Congo con man gets almost 4 years for visa, bank fraud

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PORTLAND, Maine - An illegal immigrant from the Congo living in South Portland was sentenced on Monday to 46 months in prison for visa fraud, possession of firearms by a nonimmigrant alien, bank fraud and making false statements to a government agency.

Mukonkole Huge Kifwa, a/k/a Ndowa Adrien Lushiku, a/k/a Adrien Ndowa, a/k/a Adrien Lushiku, a/k/a Hugue Kifwa, 30, was also ordered to pay $15,090 in restitution. He was convicted following a jury trial in January.

According to the indictment and trial evidence, the defendant was a citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo who fraudulently obtained a diplomatic visa in January 2014 in a false name and by making false representations.

He illegally rented a pistol and a rifle in Maine in October and November 2014 under a false name. While living in Maine between September 2014 and March 2015, he committed a series of fraudulent transactions at four financial institutions in the greater Portland area. Finally, on July 14, 2015, he was arrested and falsely told federal agents that he had never been to Canada when, in fact, he previously lived in Canada for many years.

In statements during sentencing U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby said, "You're a con man. You're a fraudster. ... One of the primary factors here is my obligation as a federal judge to protect the public."

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Portland and Scarborough Police Departments; the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office; with assistance from Canadian authorities.

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