United States v. Maslenjak, No. 14-3864 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Maslenjak, an ethnic Serb and native of Bosnia, came to the U.S. in 2000 as a refugee fleeing the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. Maslenjak claimed she and her family feared persecution in Bosnia because her husband had evaded conscription into the Serbian army during the war. In fact, Maslenjak’s husband had not only been in the Serbian militia during the war but had served as an officer in a unit implicated in war crimes. Maslenjak was granted refugee status and ultimately obtained her naturalization. Based on her misrepresentations during the immigration process, she was later convicted of knowingly procuring her naturalization contrary to law, 18 U.S.C. 1425(a) and of knowingly using an unlawfully issued certificate of naturalization, 18 U.S.C. 1423. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that the district court improperly instructed the jury that her false statements need not be material in order to convict Maslenjak of procuring her naturalization contrary to law or erroneously instructed the jury that it could also convict Maslenjak if the jury found that she lacked good moral character.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on November 21, 2019.
- Maslenjak v. United States, No. 16-309 (U.S. Jun. 22, 2017)