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Former government official convicted for issuing 24 fake passports

Last Updated May 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm EDT

Aline Zeitoune is seen leaving a Toronto courthouse after being convicted for her role in a scheme that allowed 24 people to obtain passports under false identities. CITYNEWS/ Marianne Boucher

A former Government of Canada passport official has been found guilty for her role in a scheme that allowed 24 imposters to obtain passports under false identities in 2013.

Justice Ian MacDonnell found Aline Zeitoune guilty of breach of trust at her court appearance on Monday.

Zeitoune was employed in the North York passport issuing office on Yonge Street and had worked there for 24 years.

Moshe Gur was also a central figure in the scheme. His role was to collect $15,000 from fraudulent applicants and direct them to counter #4 where Zeitoune was a front line official. He was also actively involved in the preparation and presentation of applications submitted for the imposters.

Surveillance video obtained from the office shows the imposters bypassing the pre-screening process and heading straight to Zeitoune’s counter within moments of arriving at the office.

Zeitoune’s job was to assess if the applicants were entitled to a passport – each of whom had fake citizenship certificates. She issued each one of them a fake passport.

In his reasons for convicting Zeitoune, Justice MacDonnell said that “entitling imposters to receive passports is the complete antithesis of what a passport officer is entrusted to do.”

Upon her conviction the crown also asked for proof that Zeitoune had turned in her own passport to police.

Moshe Gur plead guilty to a number of offences for his role in the scheme and agreed that he was involved in 14 of the fraudulent applications. He will serve 2.5 years in prison.

Zeitoune will be sentenced June 29.

This article has been corrected to reflect that Moshe Gur was not employed at the passport office. An earlier version of this article said Moshe Gur was an employee of the office.