A Haitian man was sentenced Thursday for trying to fraudulently obtain citizenship.
Jamesly Fils-Aime, also known as Johnny Tannis, entered the country legally on July 27, 2019.
He later assumed the identity of Tannis and obtained a Haitian passport and Bahamian birth certificate in Tannis’ name.
The fraud was discovered when police stopped Fils-Aime in January for a status check.
He presented the passport and application for status in Tannis’ name to police, who turned him over to immigration.
Immigration officials discovered that the photo of Tannis in the department’s database did not match the one in the passport.
Fils-Aime pleaded guilty to attempted fraud by false pretenses, possession of a false document, uttering a false document and deceit of a police officer at his arraignment before Senior Magistrate Carolyn Vogt-Evans.
Through interpreter Charlene Jean, Fils-Aime said, “I want to say sorry to the Bahamian community and the Haitian community living in The Bahamas because I violated the laws.”
In sentencing, Vogt-Evans said that the country could not afford the strain of illegal immigration.
She said, “The greatest gift a Bahamian could have is citizenship — and you tried to steal that. That will not be tolerated.”
Vogt-Evans sentenced Fils-Aime to one year in prison. He will serve an additional four months if he doesn’t pay a $500 fine on the deceit charge.
Vogt-Evans ordered him deported on the completion of his sentence.