State Employee Among Those Indicted for Marriage Fraud Conspiracy

4 years 2 months 6 days ago February 22, 2013 Feb 22, 2013 Friday, February 22 2013 Friday, February 22, 2013 1:51:48 PM CST 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
COLUMBIA - Despite the weekend's wet weather, many people gathered at Christian Chapel to walk and run 32 laps for... More >>
7 hours ago April 30, 2017 Apr 30, 2017 Sunday, April 30 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (AP) — The Humane Society of Missouri expanded its operations by opening two new specialized centers in... More >>
7 hours ago April 30, 2017 Apr 30, 2017 Sunday, April 30 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 5:55:41 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Roughly 240,000 more Missouri Medicaid recipients are being switched to a system under which private companies... More >>
9 hours ago April 30, 2017 Apr 30, 2017 Sunday, April 30 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 3:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A campus organization known as Sustain Mizzou could help the University of Missouri earn its first "Tree Campus... More >>
11 hours ago April 30, 2017 Apr 30, 2017 Sunday, April 30 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 2:00:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Families and pets met Sunday at Stephens Lake Park for the Mutt Strut, a benefit serving MU's Barkley... More >>
14 hours ago April 30, 2017 Apr 30, 2017 Sunday, April 30 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:46:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, so KOMU 8 News asked for viewers to share... More >>
15 hours ago April 30, 2017 Apr 30, 2017 Sunday, April 30 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 9:39:10 AM CDT in News
ASHLAND — Search and rescue crews found a woman in Cedar Creek this afternoon after a kayaking accident. She was... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 11:20:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman paralyzed by Lou Gehrig's disease isn't letting any limitations from the incurable disease... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:45:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' involved and sometimes aggressive leadership style is getting mixed reviews from... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:41:12 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College fashion design, marketing, management and communication students hosted the 73rd annual student design fashion show, called... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:12:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON — The city of Fulton is teaming up with William Woods University Chemistry Professor Joe Kyger to figure out... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:09:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — First responders rescued three families from their homes in Callaway County Saturday during floods that swept through... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:47:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON — Emergency officials responded to a fatal crash near the intersection of State Route O and State Route UU... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:23:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Despite non-ideal weather conditions, people gathered at MU Saturday afternoon as a part of a nationwide climate change... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 4:46:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Ever wonder what to do with your unused prescription drugs? The annual 'Drug Take Back Day' helps... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Police officers responded to an armed robbery at Check Into Cash Saturday afternoon. According to a release... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:27:00 PM CDT in News
MID-MISSOURI — Flooding caused road closures on Saturday. KOMU 8 News viewers shared photos and videos of what they saw.... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Office of Emergency Management has reported numerous road closures due to flooding Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago April 29, 2017 Apr 29, 2017 Saturday, April 29 2017 Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:32:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
2am 48°
3am 47°
4am 46°
5am 46°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:05a
Dateline NBC
2:03a
Meet the Press
3:00a
Paid Program
12:00a
Dead Again
2:00a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld