A former passport official for the government of Canada has been found guilty in a breach of trust. The official of 24 years, Aline Zeitoune, issued 24 false passports before 2013 in collusion with Moshe Gur, who pleaded guilty.
Gur would collect $15,000 from individuals who were looking to obtain a passport and direct them to counter #4 of the North York, Ontario passport office, where Zeitoune would be found working as a passport officer.
The role of a passport officer is to assess if an applicant is entitled to obtain a passport - something that Zeitoune was seen fraudulently doing multiple times.
Gur was not an employee of the office but it was known that he had a connection within the passport office, later discovered as Zeitoune.
The office has video surveillance that shows deceitful customers bypassing the pre-screening process, instead immediately walking up to Zeitoune's counter. From there she would look over fake documents and provide them with a passport.
Aline Zeitoune guilty of breach of trust at her court appearance on Monday.— Michele Perron (@smokeyplaces) May 28, 2018
Zeitoune was employed in the North York passport issuing office on Yonge St and had worked there for 24 years. https://t.co/n0jUSFN2Ck
Justice MacDonnell said the reasoning for Zeitoune's verdict was because "entitling imposers to receive passports is the complete antithesis of what a passport officer is entrusted to do." He also urged for proof that her passport was turned into officials.
Federal investigators discovered that Gur was attempting to obtain a fraudulent passport himself under the alias Michael Vangoor. The passport was never issued.
The Toronto Star reports that after this scheme came to light not all those who had obtained a fraudulent passport had been charged or convicted.
Gur pleaded guilty and admitted to his role in 14 of the fake passport schemes. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Zeitoune is to be sentenced on June 29.