Student Accused Of Impersonating N.J. Congressman

CBS, Oct. 18, 2006

A 26-year-old law school standout was arrested for pretending to be a New Jersey congressman, so he could obtain visas for relatives and others in his native Cameroon, said a federal prosecutor.

Njock Eyong is charged with impersonating a federal official, possession of fraudulent visa documents, and fraud by wire scheme, according to an Oct. 11 indictment in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

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Eyong, president of the Student Bar Association at William Mitchell College of Law, is known as a student leader and an article on the school’s Web site says he plans to become a civil rights trial lawyer.

Eyong is a native of Cameroon who lived in Washington, D.C., before coming to Minnesota for school.

While in Washington, he worked as an intern for New Jersey Democratic Rep. Donald M. Payne. In summer 2003, Eyong used the congressman’s signature machines and official stationery to demand that visas be issued, said Barbara Kittay of the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.

Eyong also faxed documents from Washington to Berlin, Frankfurt and Cameroon, according to the nine-count indictment. If convicted, he could face substantial prison time.

At William Mitchell, Eyong, known by the nickname “NJ” gained the respect of fellow students for his volunteer work. He was involved in student government and in the school’s Jewish Law Society.

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Eric Janus, vice dean for academic affairs at William Mitchell, said Eyong has been “a very engaged and active student here.”

Janus said Eyong voluntarily took an indefinite leave of absence from his position with the Student Bar Association this month. Janus said he expected Eyong, who is in his last year of law school, to continue his classes.

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Eyong also has worked for Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and as an intern for Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore, a federal judge for the Southern District of Texas. Eyong is expected to be arraigned in the U.S. District Court in Washington on October 26.

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