July 3, 2012
Former Defense Language Institute teachers Adeba Sultana and her husband Mohammad Ali Rabbani pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to using fake names and falsely describing their method of entry into the U.S.
They used the names Amanullah and Iren Arsalan on their U.S. immigration papers, and Sultana claimed her husband was dead, according to the indictment. They had actually been Swedish citizens since 1994, but claimed to have come to the U.S. directly from Afghanistan; Rabbani was actually an Iranian citizen, the indictment states.
Both were granted asylum, and Rabbani was naturalized in the U.S. in 2008.
DLI would've had no reason to doubt the integrity of their immigration statuses, spokesman Dan Carpenter says: "We take at face value when we get people with proper paperwork."
A federal grand jury indicted Rabbani and Sultana in October when each was charged with one count of violating naturalization law. The prosecution is the result of a year-long investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State.
Rabbani and Sultana are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 15 by U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose. They each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sultana also faces mandatory revocation of her naturalized citizenship status.