State Employee Among Those Indicted for Marriage Fraud Conspiracy

4 years 3 months 4 weeks 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 - MUPD officers gave the "all clear" late Friday night after authorities said they did not find an explosive... More >>
39 minutes ago June 24, 2017 Jun 24, 2017 Saturday, June 24 2017 Saturday, June 24, 2017 3:01:00 AM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Moniteau County sheriff denied accusations of the jail being in poor condition following posts on social... More >>
7 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:48:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri non-profit organization is raising money for veterans in its own unique way, bull riding. ... More >>
8 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:34:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport and Sen. Caleb Rowden, R- Columbia met with dozens of Mid-Missouri parents and children to... More >>
8 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:12:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - After residents said they did not want a roundabout, the Columbia Public Works Department has come up with... More >>
8 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 7:05:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - More than 200 requests have come in so far in just the twenty-four hours after MU leadership announced... More >>
10 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Pollen is not the only allergen that arrives with the warm summer weather. A specific type of tick... More >>
11 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:36:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former St. Louis County sheriff's deputy faces up to a decade in federal prison now... More >>
11 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - One person was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and the Mid-Missouri Drug Task... More >>
11 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia city council is considering new regulations on payday loan companies and money lending businesses. The... More >>
11 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 3:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College will be giving high school students a chance to earn college credits. The two dual credit... More >>
12 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri State Highway Patrol celebrated the graduation of 27 troopers in Jefferson City on Friday morning. ... More >>
13 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A man was taken into custody after the Moniteau County Sheriff's Office and Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force... More >>
14 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Four summer interns work with the city of Columbia to rate the conditions of roads and determine which... More >>
14 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash north of Tipton on Wednesday. According... More >>
15 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday night at Cirilla's on Bukner Street. According to investigators,... More >>
18 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 9:22:00 AM CDT in News
NEVADA (AP) — Authorities say a western Missouri deputy has shot and killed a driver after a pursuit ended with... More >>
19 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 8:33:11 AM CDT in News
BOONVILLE - The Boonville Heritage Days is going on this weekend with the same carnival operator it's had for the... More >>
19 hours ago June 23, 2017 Jun 23, 2017 Friday, June 23 2017 Friday, June 23, 2017 8:10:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
4am 60°
5am 59°
6am 58°
7am 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00a
Mad Money
4:00a
LX.TV: 1st Look
4:30a
Paid Program
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Nitro Circus
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld