United States v. Karaouni, 379 F.3d 1139 (9th Cir. 2004)

Ali Abdulatif Karaouni checked a box on an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form next to the printed statement: "I attest, under penalty of perjury, that I am…[a] citizen or national of the United States." In fact, Karaouni was born in and is a citizen of Lebanon. In February 1995, an Immigration Judge ordered Karaouni deported, but he remained in the country and subsequently married a U.S. citizen in October 1997. In September 2002, Karaouni was arrested and tried for falsely claiming on the I-9 Form that he was a U.S. citizen. In June 2003, a federal jury convicted Karaouni. The Ninth Circuit, per Reinhardt, J., reversed the conviction, holding that since the I-9 statement was phrased in the disjunctive ("…I am a citizen or national of the United States"), Karaouni may have been asserting the latter and not the former, which would not be a crime – even though Karaouni was neither a citizen nor a national of the United States.