Former Philadelphia City Treasurer sentenced to prison for immigration fraud and failure to file taxes


Date: April 5, 2023


Philadelphia, PA — United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Christian Dunbar of Philadelphia, PA, the former Philadelphia City Treasurer, was sentenced to six months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, a $10,000 fine, and $33,202.00 in restitution to the IRS by United States District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. His U.S. citizenship will also be revoked. As part of his application to become a U.S. citizen, Dunbar made multiple false statements, submitted altered citizenship papers, and failed to file federal tax returns in three separate tax 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.

The defendant previously 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 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,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold public officials accountable.”

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

“As city treasurer, Christian Dunbar held a key position of public trust,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Little did the people of Philadelphia realize that his U.S. citizenship was fraudulently obtained and he'd been dodging doing his taxes. Philly deserves better and the FBI will continue to work on behalf of the public to hold corrupt officials like Dunbar accountable.”

“Today’s sentencing of Mr. Dunbar illustrates HSI’s commitment to ensuring that our immigration system is void of fraud and deception, particularly from those entrusted with public office,” said Special Agent in Charge of HSI Philadelphia William S. Walker.  “HSI will continue to tirelessly work with our partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, and IRS-CI to prosecute and to revoke any fraudulently obtained citizenship from those committing federal crimes and violating the trust of the people of Philadelphia.”    

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.