Legal Issues

Former Philadelphia Treasurer Sentenced to Prison For Tax, Immigration Crimes

Former Philadelphia Treasurer Sentenced to Prison For Tax, Immigration Crimes

A former Philadelphia City Treasurer is headed to prison for tax and immigration crimes. 

Christian Dunbar, 42, a Philadelphia, PA resident, was appointed as the municipal Treasurer beginning in 2019. United States District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe handed down his prison sentence on April 5, 2023. Dunbar will serve six months in federal prison, 3 years of supervised release, pay a $10,000 fine, and pay $33,202.00 in restitution to the IRS. Additionally, his U.S. citizenship will be revoked.

Dunbar's legal woes began in September 2020, when he was charged with a 14-count indictment, including charges of embezzlement by a bank employee, obtaining false citizenship papers, and procurement of naturalization by a false statement. In May 2021, the defendant was charged by Superseding Indictment with additional counts of filing a false income tax return and failure to file tax returns. 

Credit: Manuel Augusto Moreno/Getty Images

An official release from the IRS notes that Dunbar admitted to falsely obtaining U.S. citizenship by supplying false information his home address, his family's home address, and submitting a fraudulent lease and a fake W-2 tax form to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Furthermore, Dunbar admitted that he failed to file personal income tax returns in 2015, 2016, and 2019.

Philly Voice shared additional details about Dunbar's immigration scam. A Liberia native, he and his family immigrated to the United Kingdom when he was 9 before a civil war in their West African nation. He lived in Europe for only a short time prior to coming to the United States.

In 2006, Dunbar, a former Temple Owls football player, arranged a sham marriage with a Temple classmate for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card. The woman in question kept up her end of the bargain, sponsoring Dunbar for a green card in 2009. The same year, his current wife, Fatoumata Ndiaye-Dunbar, reportedly also entered into an arranged marriage in order to gain a green card.

Credit: Bruce Yuanyue Bi/Getty Images

It is alleged that the Dunbars' first spouses knew of their plans to ultimately marry one another after securing citizenship.

United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero, who prosecuted the case, spoke out about Dunbar's sentencing, "Christian Dunbar’s actions in seeking United States citizenship and serving as the City of Philadelphia’s Treasurer betrayed the ideals inherent in the precious privilege of U.S. citizenship, and the duty he owed to Philadelphians to oversee the City’s finances. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold public officials accountable.”

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty also shared thoughts, saying, “Mr. Dunbar’s conscious decision to violate federal tax laws has cost him his freedom."

Kruty continued, “With the end of the tax filing season fast approaching, this should serve as another reminder of the importance for filing an accurate tax return. Failure to do so could lead to similar consequences.”

What do you think about Dunbar's crimes?

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Rebekah Barton

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