Four Phoenix family members with former ties to Iraq's Badr Corps were stripped of their naturalized citizenship status this month and have agreed to leave the United States in August.
New Times reported on the family's arrest in February. Hadi Assi Mubarak, wife Wahida Juma Odah and their two adult sons, Haidar Hadi Assi Mubarak and Ali Hadi Mubarak, (a.k.a. Jihad Hadi Mubarak), hid their past affiliation with the Shi'ite-aligned Iraqi militia and made other lies on immigration forms, according to the FBI.
The father arrived in Phoenix about two years after the start of the 2003 Iraq War and brought his wife and sons over later. Court documents revealed that Mubarak coached his wife and sons to say nothing about the Badr Corps and to reduce the sons' ages by a few years in order to smooth their acceptance into the United States as refugees.
The sons, both in their early 30s, continued their ruse on naturalization forms they filled out in 2011, and all four eventually obtained U.S. passports they shouldn't have received.
The family seems to have been up to nothing sinister while in Phoenix — just working and buying a house like other immigrants to the United States. The Badr Corps itself helped the United States fight ISIS last year.
But beyond the immigration charges, court records show the family also defrauded the government out of at least $22,000 in public benefits.
Nearly $20,000 in cash the family had was seized by the government to pay restitution for the benefits fraud to the Arizona Department of Economic Security and state Attorney General's office. Odah also agreed to pay back $13,000 to the Social Security Administration. Officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development decided not to seek restitution for an unknown amount of fraud from that agency, records state.
Federal plea deals signed this week by the family members let them off the hook for any prosecution related to the benefit fraud. In return, the four immigrants agreed to go to Iraq or another country that will take them no more than one week after their August 10 sentencing hearing,
The Iraqis were released from custody earlier this month after spending more than two months in jail.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Got a tip? Email Ray Stern
Follow Ray Stern on Twitter: @RayStern
Follow Valley Fever on Twitter: @ValleyFeverPHX