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Married couple facing federal indictment for fraud schemes

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Posted at 6:00 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 18:00:11-04

BALTIMORE — A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging 39-year-old Andrews Oduro Brown and 43-year-old Charmaine Miesha Brown, for conspiracies to commit passport fraud and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Oduro was a Ghanaian national who entered the United States in May 2013. He got married in January 2014 and in 2021 obtained permanent resident status through the marriage.

During this time, Oduro lived with Brown, together with Oduro's two children, and four of Brown's children.

According to the indictment, Oduro and Brown gathered passports for family members who weren't U.S. citizens and they weren't entitled to receive passports. Once these passports were issued, they arranged for the transport of these family members to the U.S. using the fraudulently issued passports.

Brown submitted an application for a passport in the name of her son, using the photo of another one of her children. Another example of fraud is when Oduro and Brown submitted a fake birth certificate stating that Brown was the mother of one of Oduro's children on the application.

On August 5, 2015, Oduro submitted a passport application in the name of a U.S. citizen, but using the picture of one of his siblings, who is not a citizen.

The indictment also shows that the couple planned to receive Child Care Subsidy Program payments to which they were not entitled. The Program provides reimbursement to low-income families for childcare. Allegedly, Brown and Oduro falsely reported that one of their friends was watching their children, when in truth, Oduro assumed his identity to pose as a childcare provider.

They received approximately $95,320 in Child Care Subsidy Program payments to which they were not entitled.

If convicted, the two face a maximum sentence of 5 years on federal prison for conspiracy to commit passport fraud and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.