Sandra Nelson Zongo Allegedly Pretended To Be A U.N. Diplomat & Had The Greatest Few Weeks Ever

Sandra Nelson Zongo is the brave woman accused of posing as a United Nations diplomat to receive lavish hotel and restaurant accommodations, according to the New York Post. Zongo allegedly rang up hundreds of thousands of dollars in nice meals at Manhattan restaurants and fancy hotel rooms, according to federal court papers obtained by the newspaper. According to the filing, she claimed to be a deputy commissioner of foreign affairs with the Office of the Commissioner last year, and even used fake purchase orders that said "payable on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner." Bustle could not reach Zongo for comment.

At one unnamed Manhattan hotel, Zongo apparently ran up a $50,000 bill over the course of her six-week stay, according to the Post. She allegedly paid for it in her brilliant, Catch Me If You Can, fake-check style. Then, she allegedly spent $150,000 to buy a 12-person table at a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Foundation. She sent the unnamed charity that organized the event the same kind of fake purchase order, the court papers said, but this time she included a federal tax-exempt number and made the order payable on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner, listed at 845 United Nations Plaza, according to the complaint.

Hilariously enough, 845 United Nations Plaza is the location of the Trump World Tower in New York. Bravo.


A U.S. Secret Service agent even tracked her to a third hotel, where she apparently claimed “Temporary Residency for UNGA Delegation,” according to the complaint cited by the Post. The manager of the hotel told the agent Zongo had racked up more than $35,000 in charges. She was arrested at the hotel last October and was indicted on a number of charges last week, according to the Post.

Zongo didn't stop at lavish hotel stays, it seems. Complaints posted on alleged that she stepped up her game and manipulated young people into working as interns, according to Gothamist. She also allegedly posted on social media that she had worked with the U.N. for 10 years.


Zongo has been charged with impersonating a federal official, wire fraud, and fictitious obligations, according to the Post.

If this proves anything, it's that no one really knows what government positions actually exist, or, further, who really holds them. After doing some Googling on the U.N., it's pretty clear that there isn't anything with just the name "Office of the Commissioner." There's the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, so I guess that's close? Even the position she claimed to hold — deputy commissioner of foreign affairs — doesn't fit the exact name of any real U.N. position.

But, hey, #FakeItTillYouMakeIt, right?

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