State Employee Among Those Indicted for Marriage Fraud Conspiracy

5 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Friday, February 22 2013 Feb 22, 2013 Friday, February 22, 2013 1:51:48 PM CST February 22, 2013 in News
By: KOMU Staff

JEFFERSON CITY - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a state employee is among three persons indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud in order to evade immigration laws.

Oleksandr Nikolayevich Druzenko, also known as "Alex" or "Sasha," 32, of Jefferson City, Mo., Patricia Anne Ewalt, 60, of El Paso, Texas, and Darya Chernova, 38, of Chandler, Ariz., were charged in a four-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City on Oct. 3, 2012. The indictment was unsealed and made public today following Druzenko's arrest and initial court appearance.

Druzenko, who is employed at the Missouri Office of Administration in Jefferson City, is a Ukrainian national who entered the United States on a student visa in August 2004 and attended college in Missouri and elsewhere. Druzenko remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.

According to the indictment, Druzenko and Ewalt (a U.S. citizen) were married on June 22, 2007, for the sole purpose of allowing Druzenko to remain in the United States. Under his student visa, Druzenko would have had to depart the United States within 60 days after graduation. Because of his marriage to Ewalt, Druzenko obtained lawful permanent resident status on Jan. 2, 2008.

Chernova, a friend of Druzenko's, is also a Ukrainian who entered the United States on a student visa. In 2005 and 2006, the indictment says, she enlisted a U.S. citizen to marry her so that she could remain in the United States. She and another person (who is not identified in the indictment) allegedly assisted Druzenko in early 2007 to find a U.S. citizen to marry him so that he could remain in the United States and attempt to gain permanent resident status and potentially U.S. citizenship. They approached several persons, the indictment says, including one person with whom Druzenko procured a marriage license but who then declined to enter the sham marriage.

In March 2007, Druzenko was introduced to Ewalt. Chernova and at least one other person allegedly enlisted Ewalt to marry Druzenko so he could remain in the United States.

Druzenko, Ewalt and Chernova are each charged with participating in a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud in order to evade immigration laws.

In addition to the conspiracy, Druzenko and Ewalt are charged together in one count of marriage fraud and two counts of making false statements on immigration forms.

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony P. Gonzalez. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

More News

Grid
List
CAMDEN COUNTY - Four people took a golf cart for a joyride Saturday morning, according to the Camden County Sheriff's... More >>
14 minutes ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 1:12:00 PM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri police are crediting the public for helping them find the suspect in a sex offense... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 10:23:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 10:20:55 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating three separate homicides over a 12-hour span. KMBC-TV reports... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 7:42:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
DIGGINS (AP) — Authorities say storms have damaged trees, downed power lines and churned up at least one small tornado... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 7:27:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - City leaders will discuss Jefferson City’s 2019 FY budget at Monday’s city council meeting. The budget,... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 3:34:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pink tags announcing a completed adoption hung from cages throughout the Central Missouri Humane Society this past weekend... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, August 20 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Monday, August 20, 2018 2:50:00 AM CDT August 20, 2018 in News
SEDALIA- Two events were canceled on the last day of the Missouri State Fair due to rain. The ASCS... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 10:04:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday that he was willing to pursue legal action against President Donald... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:23:19 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Federal investigators examining whether President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen committed bank and tax fraud are looking... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 8:01:59 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
Indiana ( WRTV ) -- Hundreds of students walked out of the Andy Gross show Saturday night at Purdue University... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 7:30:19 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — Students in one Southeast Missouri State University dorm who don't want to leave their dogs or... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:09:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
NORTH KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area school district that garnered national attention when a transgender student was crowned... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri officials hope to attract the nearly 700 well-paying USDA jobs that are... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 12:17:10 PM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a St. Louis man charged with killing... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:50:00 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Parts of Missouri are so dry that corn crops are suffering and hay for cattle is... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 11:44:16 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Officials say a worker injured near Sedalia in west-central Missouri has died. The Sedalia Democrat reports... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 19 2018 Aug 19, 2018 Sunday, August 19, 2018 9:01:36 AM CDT August 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department is investigating a sex offense report on Saturday. According to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:00:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
2pm 76°
3pm 77°
4pm 78°
5pm 76°