Watchdog: Accountability

Ex-passport official in Houston convicted of fraud

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Associated Press,Watchdog,Texas,Waste and Fraud,Accountability,Houston

HOUSTON — A veteran government worker in Houston has been convicted of passport fraud for providing legal documents to people with fake paperwork.

Prosecutors say Nyle Churchwell remains in custody pending sentencing at a date to be determined. He faces up to 20 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of making false statements in the application and use of a passport.

Churchwell had been with the U.S. Department of State for more than 30 years when he was arrested in 2012 and indefinitely suspended.

Several passport employees testified that some applicants from Jamaica, including some who knew Churchwell, used other people's identification to apply for passports. The fraud was exposed when another worker confronted Churchwell, who was convicted Friday.

Two other people pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

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