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April 06, 2023

Former Philly city treasurer sentenced to six months in prison for immigration fraud, not paying taxes

Christian Dunbar must also pay over $40,000 to the IRS; his U.S. citizenship will be revoked

Courts Sentencing
Christian Dunbar prison Provided Image/PHDCPHILA.ORG

The ex-city treasurer was sentenced to six months in prison for lying about his marriage to obtain citizenship and not paying income taxes.

Former Philadelphia City Treasurer Christian Dunbar was sentenced to six months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for submitting fraudulent immigration paperwork and not paying taxes.

He must also pay a $10,000 fine and $33,202 in restitution to the IRS. His United States citizenship will be revoked, U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced.

Dunbar, 42, served as treasurer from July 2019 until he was fired in September 2020, after he was charged with bank embezzlement and marriage fraud. The charges predated his tenure as treasurer. 

In October, Dunbar pled guilty to a scheme to obtain citizenship by submitting false statements and documents, as well as failing to file his federal income tax returns.

The former Temple football player lied on documents about where he lived and whom he lived with when he was applying for U.S. citizenship. He also submitted a false lease and W-2 tax form to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, prosecutors said. Dunbar admitted to not filing personal taxes in 2015, 2016, and 2019.

“As city treasurer, Christian Dunbar held a key position of public trust,” Jacqueline Maguire, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division said. “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.”

Dunbar was born in Liberia and immigrated to the United Kingdom at the age of 9 before a civil war in the West African nation. He spent a short time in Europe before he immigrated to the United States. 

In 2006, Dubar arranged a sham marriage with a Temple classmate with the intention of obtaining a green card through the union. The woman sponsored Dunbar for a green card in 2009. That same month, his current wife Fatoumata Ndiaye-Dunbar allegedly arranged a marriage with another Temple student in an attempt to gain citizenship herself.

Dunbar wed Ndiaye-Dunbar in her native Senegal in 2013, prosecutors said. 

After four years of marriage with his first wife from 2012 to 2016, Dunbar filed for divorce two months after he became a U.S. citizen. 

Neither Dunbar's first wife nor Ndiaye-Dunbar were charged. But iSeptember 2020, Dunbar was charged in a 14-count indictment.

He was previously accused of embezzling $15,000 from clients at previous job as an advisor for Wells Fargo and claiming tax deductions for false business losses related to a partnership with a medical marijuana firm. Prosecutors agreed to drop those charges in exchange for a guilty plea on the immigration and tax fraud charges.  

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