BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A federal grand jury indicted a native of Ghana residing in Fulton, Maryland, on federal charges of passport fraud, falsely claiming U.S. citizenship and illegal voting by an alien.
Michael Nana Baako, age 50, was indicted on these charges.
Baako was a physician who practiced in hospitals in Maryland and maintained his own clinic, Biazo Healthcare. The indictment was returned on May 1, 2019, and was unsealed at his initial appearance on Wednesday.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Edwin Guard of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Washington Field Office.
According to the indictment, since at least 2001, Baako and R.A.A., also born in Ghana, have lived together in Howard County and are the parents of two minor children.
Baako and R.A.A. entered the United States legally after obtaining a visa in 1995. In 1996, Baako applied for certification of his Ghanian medical education in the United States through the Educational Commission for Foreign Graduates.
In 1998, Baako married a U.S. citizen in Virginia, who filed a petition for Baako to become a naturalized United States citizen.
On June 20, 2000, the petition was denied after immigration officials concluded that Baako’s marriage was a “sham” marriage entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.
In 2001, Baako was licensed to practice in Maryland as a physician.
The indictment also alleges that on Nov. 29, 2005, Baako registered to vote in Maryland, swearing that he was a United States citizen, and subsequently voted in 10 elections between Nov. 7, 2006, and Nov. 6, 2018.
On April 22, 2008, Baako allegedly submitted an application for a United States passport for himself in which he falsely claimed that he was born in North Carolina, as were both of his parents.
As part of his passport application, Baako allegedly provided an affidavit purporting to be from a family friend, falsely stating that this person was one of the first people to see Baako after his birth and was present at a subsequent naming and baptism ceremony for Baako at a Hillsborough, North Carolina church.
Baako was issued a U.S. passport on April 29, 2008, which he allegedly used for international travel on several occasions. That passport included the false information that Baako was a citizen of the United States born in North Carolina.
If convicted, Baako faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of four counts of passport fraud; a maximum of three years in prison for false claim to U.S. citizenship; and a maximum of one year in prison for each of three counts of illegal voting by an alien.
At Wednesday’s initial appearance a judge ordered that Baako be detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for May 10, 2019.