Former Philadelphia city treasurer pleads guilty to naturalization fraud and failure to file taxes charges


Date: October 13, 2022


PHILADELPHIA — United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Christian Dunbar, of Philadelphia, PA, the former Philadelphia City Treasurer, pleaded guilty in front of United States District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe to procurement of citizenship unlawfully and through multiple false statements; submitting false citizenship papers; and failure to file tax returns, all in connection with false statements and altered documents he submitted as part of his application to become a U.S. citizen, and failing to file his federal tax returns in three separate years.

In May 2021, the defendant was charged by Superseding Indictment with multiple counts of filing a false income tax return and failure to file tax returns. Earlier, in September 2020, Dunbar was charged in a 14-count Indictment, charging embezzlement by a bank employee, procurement of naturalization through a false statement, procurement of naturalization unlawfully, obtaining false citizenship papers, and making false statements in support of naturalization.

During the hearing, the defendant admitted to procuring U.S. citizenship fraudulently by providing false information about where and with whom he was living, where his child was residing, and submitting a false lease and a false W-2 tax form to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Further, Dunbar admitted to not filing his personal income tax returns for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2019 (during the last of which he was serving as the Philadelphia City Treasurer).

"Christian Dunbar's conduct in this case demonstrates a shocking level of misconduct for anyone, let alone a senior official with the City of Philadelphia whose job it was to oversee the City's fiscal stability," said U.S. Attorney Romero. "Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of complicated public corruption cases, and hold public officials accountable."

"Christian Dunbar violated federal tax laws when he failed to file his tax returns, even though he was required, by law, to file," said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. "Tax crimes like this will not go undetected thanks to the tireless hard work of IRS-CI Special Agents. We will continue to focus our investigative efforts on individuals who choose to ignore their legal duty to accurately file and pay their taxes."

"Christian Dunbar fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship, building his life and career here on a foundation of lies," said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. "It's a sad irony that such a dishonest person wound up City Treasurer, a key position of public trust. Corruption like this corrodes people's faith in government, which is why the FBI works so hard to hold crooked public officials accountable."

"HSI Philadelphia special agents worked diligently with our partners in the FBI and IRS to ensure Mr. Dunbar is held responsible for his actions," said William S. Walker, Special Agent in Charge of HSI's Philadelphia office. "HSI's mission is to investigate crimes regardless of the perpetrator's position, official title or economic status. This investigation underscores the importance of how collaboration and teamwork among federal agencies leads to accountability for crimes committed by those who seek to exploit vulnerabilities in our systems."

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josh A. Davison.