BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) -A Berkeley County couple is facing federal charges in a scheme to try and get a passport for a child while abroad.
According to Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, the pair claimed they were the parents of a baby from the Philippines and used false records to apply for a U.S. passport for the child.
Both Gerald Vincent Locker Jr., 46, and Stephanie Jean Locker, 24, have been charged with one count of conspiracy. Stephanie Locker is also charged with one count of making false statements in an application for a passport. The charged were handed down Thursday after a grand jury returned the indictment.
The indictment states that Gerald and Stephanie, both of Huger were stationed in Japan in 2014. While there, the couple tried to get around legal adoption processes by telling authorities that a baby from the Philippines was their own natural-born child.
According to the indictment, the pair presented falsified documents to a U.S. Consular Officer and Stephanie, in support of her application for a passport for the child, falsely claimed that she was in the Philippines on vacation and had learned she was pregnant five days before the baby was born.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the case.