AKRON, OH (WOIO) - An Akron man who hid his involvement with a Serbian army unit that committed atrocities in the former Yugoslavia has been ordered deported from the U.S.
Ilija Josipovic, 59, pleaded guilty to possession of immigration documents procured by fraud. He was also sentenced to eight months of house arrest.
Federal prosecutors say Josipovic failed to tell U.S. officials when applying for refugee status in 2002 about his Serbian military service in Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1996.
"This defendant hid the fact that he was a member of a unit involved in atrocities in the former Yugoslavia," said David A. Sierleja, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "He does not deserve the protections and rights of a U.S. citizen when his conduct flew in the face of our nation's founding ideals."
Josipovic, on Feb. 1, 2012, possessed a Permanent Resident Card in his name, which he knew to be procured by means of a false claim and statement while obtaining an Ohio driver's license at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office 7744, located at 1030 East Tallmadge Avenue in Akron. On Sept. 10, 2014, he possessed a Permanent Resident Card in his name, which he knew to be procured by means of a false claim and statement while at his residence in Akron, according to court documents.
"The United States will never serve as a place of refuge for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts," Steve Francis, HSI Detroit Acting Special Agent in Charge said. "HSI will continue to use its unique authorities to ensure that alleged war criminals are brought to justice."
His attorney has declined to comment.