Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington today sentenced Ali Hussein Salamey (40, Dearborn, Michigan) to two years in federal prison for passport fraud and aggravated identity theft. Salamey had pleaded guilty on June 7, 2022.
According to court documents, Salamey and R.S. had a child together, D.S., who was born in September 2014. Despite court orders prohibiting either parent from obtaining a passport for D.S. or taking the child out of state without leave of the court, Salamey applied for Lebanese travel documents from the Lebanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for D.S. To do so, Salamey submitted a fraudulent maternal consent form on which he had forged R.S.’s signature. The embassy denied the application. Salamey then attempted to obtain travel documents from the Lebanese Consulate in Michigan. This time, Salamey submitted a fraudulent judgment of paternity that he had altered to make it appear as if the court had awarded him (rather than R.S.) sole parental responsibility. This time, the Lebanese consulate issued a Lebanese passport for D.S.
On August 25, 2018, Salamey used the fraudulently acquired passport to take D.S. to Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon is not a party to the Hague Convention, which obligates member countries to return children abducted abroad; nor does it have an extradition treaty with the United States. Salamey and D.S. remained in Lebanon for the next 10 months. Eventually, the Lebanese government agreed to help return the child to the United States. D.S. and Salamey returned to the United States on June 21, 2019, at which time the child was returned to R.S. and Salamey was arrested.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlton C. Gammons.