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Not Knowing

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

A practicing doctor in Virginia, Dr. Siavash Sobhani, had applied for a new passport in February of 2023 and had no reason to expect that he would face any difficulties. After all, he had renewed his passport multiple times before. Born and raised in the United States, Sobhani attended George Washington University and Boston College before attending Georgetown Medical School. Darn impressive. He practiced medicine in the United States for over thirty years. Sobhani’s passport was set to expire in June 2024, and he wanted to make sure it was renewed before his family took a trip a month later. However, things did not go as planned. Not only did he not receive a new passport. He lost his U.S. citizenship. Because it turns out, he should never have gotten one in the first place.

Typically, all babies born in the US are given citizenship. But, babies born in the U.S. to parents with diplomatic immunity – which his father enjoyed as an Iranian Embassy employee at the time of Sobhani’s birth- shouldn’t automatically acquire citizenship. And since his father was born in Iran, Sobhani should not have received immediate citizenship. Which means for sixty-two years, Sobhani has been living a robust and fruitful life here in the United States, but not legally.

Sixty-two years as a tax paying, election voting citizen, not to mention a U.S. college degreed physician, having cared for thousands of patients. Turned to dust. And sixty-two years interacting in some way or another with U.S. Government agencies. Like the Social Security Office for a SS#, the Department of Motor Vehicles for a license, and the Internal Revenue Service for taxes, to name a few. And don’t forget State Department for those numerous passport renewals. If Sobhani’s legal status went undetected for so long, it bears the question, what would a criminally minded fraudster with a stolen ID achieve? Certainly not the good that Sobhani has done.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Virginia doctor, Siavash Sobhani, who was born in US loses his CITIZENSHIP after applying for new passport because his dad was Iranian diplomat and he wasn’t entitled to claim it” published by Daily News on November 26, 2023

A 61-year-old Virginia doctor who was born in the US has been stripped of his citizenship – all because of his late father’s status as an Iranian diplomat at the time of his birth.

Siavash Sobhani became stateless when he tried to renew his passport in June this year – with officials telling him that he never should have been granted American citizenship in 1960, according to the Washington Post.

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