High-ranking sheriff’s officer indicted for lying about citizenship

A leader in the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has been indicted on criminal charges accusing him of lying about his citizenship status to become a police officer, reports the Daily News Journal.

Maj. Terry McBurney was indicted Wednesday on charges of unlawful procurement of naturalization, making false statements under oath in matters relating to his application for U.S. citizenship and wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Tennessee announced Thursday.

The indictment came down the same day as a Tennessee comptroller’s audit alleged McBurney lied and said he was a U.S. citizen to become a law enforcement officer. The criminal case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, officials said.

McBurney is from Ireland and is now a U.S. citizen. But authorities say he broke the law when he lied on his application to become a police officer in 2010 and on several immigration and employment documents since then.

The indictment says McBurney submitted an application for naturalization in September 2015 and, on the application and during an interview in that process, denied he had ever claimed to be a citizen. If convicted of the federal charges against him, McBurney could face prison time of up to 20 years. His citizenship could also be revoked, according to the U.S. Attorney.

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