BANGOR, Maine — A Presque Isle man who used his deceased brother’s name in order to “start with a clean slate” was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to three years of probation in connection with his use of a passport.
Christopher P. Phillips, 42, used his brother’s name to hide his criminal history from state and federal authorities, according to court documents. In addition to the passport, Phillips, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada, possessed a Maine driver’s license, a Social Security card and debit cards in his brother’s name when he crossed the border in 2011.
He waived indictment and pleaded guilty in November to one count each of having a passport secured by a false statement and misuse of a passport.
Phillip’s brother, Marc Nelson Joseph Phillips, died Aug. 14, 2001, in St. John, New Brunswick, according to court documents. Christopher Phillips began using his brother’s name shortly after his death but did not obtain a passport until 2007.
The charges filed against Christopher Phillips stemmed from his crossing the border on Aug. 3, 2011, at the Fort Fairfield border crossing station when his fraud was discovered, according to court documents. Phillips told investigators that he “had taken on the new name in order to start with a clean slate.”
Phillips faced up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.
The investigation that led to the charges against Phillips was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Diplomatic Security Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.