Individuals entered into sham marriages to gain citizenship

11 indicted in Ohio marriage fraud scheme

COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and local officers in the metro-Columbus area arrested nine people charged with participating in a central Ohio based scheme to arrange sham marriages in order to evade U.S. immigration laws. Two additional arrests were made in New Orleans and Philadelphia. Two defendants remain at large. All 11 people were named Dec. 8 in federal indictments unsealed in federal district court.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Brian Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Ohio and Michigan, announced the arrests.

“ICE will not tolerate those who engage in sham marriages to circumvent and exploit our nation’s immigration system,” said Moskowitz. “Marriage fraud poses a significant vulnerability that must not go unchallenged. ICE aggressively investigates those who take illegal shortcuts to citizenship, whether they do so to gain an immigration benefit or simply for personal profit.”

The indictment alleges that Columbus-area residents Hasan Salohutdinov, Dimitry Pani, Sviatlana A. Piskunova and Laura Elizabeth Grace Scott recruited U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, primarily Eastern Europeans, to enter into sham marriages to evade immigration laws, starting in January 2007. The foreign nationals paid about $17,000 to marry U.S. citizens. The foreign nationals were allegedly promised legal residency in return for marrying citizens and the citizens were promised monetary compensation.

The indictment also alleges that defendants would counsel sham wedding partners regarding actions to take in order to lend the appearance of being a legitimate marriage, and assist non-citizens in preparing fraudulent documents to present to immigration officials.

“The indictment alleges that the defendants took part in a scheme to arrange marriages between U.S. citizens and foreign nationals,” Stewart said. “The grand jury alleges that motivation for the Americans who entered into these marriages was money. The motivation for the ones they married was American citizenship.”

Each count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and marriage fraud is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release. Foreign nationals also face deportation after any prison time served. A list of those charged is below:

Charged foreign nationals Name City Status
Hasan Salohutdinov
Columbus
In custody

Dmitri Pani
Columbus
In custody

Sviatlana Piskunova
Columbus
In custody

Laura Scott
Columbus
In custody

Courtnie Good
Columbus
In custody

Sobithon Mirzaev
New Orleans
In custody

Elbek Saidjanov
Philadelphia
In custody

Iskander Tairov
Columbus
In custody

Brent Woods
Columbus
In custody

LaDawna Tackett
Columbus
At large

Djafar Sobirov
Columbus
At large

Stewart commended the investigation by ICE agents, and the assistance of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Columbus Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Reynoldsburg Police Department.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

— ICE —

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE comprises four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.

Last Modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2009
U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Comments

Individuals entered into sham marriages to gain citizenship — 2 Comments

  1. Man oh man, this is indeed amusing! looks like you are having a few problems in the land of milk and honey huh? I agree that California has a serious problem. Had to chuckle though, who let them in? why? why aren’t they deported within 24 hours? why not jail the criminals? execute a few thousand criminals for good measure too. For many years the USA meddled in Latin American affairs and told their leaders how to treat the indigenous population. Droves of do gooders from the USA, Europe and Canada descended upon Latin America during the sixties and many were leftists .who embraced Castro and Che very well. From that moment on we were told to treat the same animals that killed our young soldiers, mothers and daughters while they were at a coffee shop; with humanity. Now we have a Latin America where being white is dangerous and the left is winning. Thanks for the lessons in humanity, we owe you so much, now you have our problems in your house and unfortunately my house too. Difference is, I have the means and knowledge to roam the world but most Americans do not. They have to deal with it and this is not going to end well.

    We have a continent with more problems than the Mexicans I assure you, and if your white men continue on this path of feminization and delusions of grandeur based on their grandparents achievements you will end up like us in Latin America. We don’t want your destruction, Spanish, Anglo, we are Europeans and our ancestors established the continent.

    Make a proposition for you. We take all the Mexicans and other distasteful Latin Americans back and to make room since Anglo women love BIG Black men and Arabs so much we have many for them to continue their ANIMALISM with like Obama’s mama. See; we intend to change Latin america in order for our people to have a better life. We have noticed that the whores that created the mulatoes have left us abomninations like Hugo Chavez thus we realize that it must stop. They will be extricated first from South America and when our armies ares strong enough we are going after the Caribbean real estate. What will the USA do, send the troops? hah, think they are little busy, and Spanish speaking soldiers will not kill their own to save animals. We will have your animal FREE of Charge, FOB country port as desired, you pay for shipping and insurance and we will deliver a full functioning African for the Anglo ladies delight. This way they won’t have to chase Tiger anymore.

    As far as the criminal aliens here, we used to take care of such elements by dropping them off C-130’s years ago in the south seas. Killer whales love commies and human filth, the sharks believe it or not took their time with the few niggers we offed. We figured it was the stench. Anyhow, we are thinking that waste is not environmentally correct thus we are preparing camps where they walk in and they will be shipped out in body parts and blood. Very profitable, you should try it.

    Jus remember folks, you have a lot of hate in you and so do I; but I’m a product of your CIA who learned my trade in your School of the Americas. People like me are roaming around the world looking to bring back the Latin America that your liberal policies helped to destroy. Amerindians ARE Americans, all the rest of the scum you have from Africa, Pakistan and Arabia are not. America is a continent and we will seal it inspite of what you wish. When they wish to leave they will not be able to.

  2. Health care is NOT FREE. We pay a lot of taxes for our health care. What we have is uvaenrsil health care and it refers to uvaenrsil access, not FREE. Granted, we don’t pay for a visit to our doctor out of pocket but that is what our taxes are for.As for medicine being cheaper, I assume you mean prescription medication and it is not any cheaper here than in the US.If you are an undocumented immigrant with no education then you will not be able to get into Canada by any means. Canada is not a free land of milk and honey and gold paved roads for just anyone who wants to come here. We are a nation of hard working citizens who gladly welcome qualified immigrants and, I’m sorry, but someone like you who, by what I’ve read, has no education and only wants to get stuff for free will not be welcome here.Canadian PR

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