State Employee Among Those Indicted for Marriage Fraud Conspiracy

3 years 2 months 1 week 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 - According to MoDOT, law enforcement is trying to crack down on underage drinking and driving. Law enforcement will... More >>
9 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 8:44:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former police officer for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, is accused... More >>
10 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 8:03:02 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have advanced a "personhood" measure that backers said will protect the unborn and opponents... More >>
11 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 7:09:10 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU Health employees filed a lawsuit against the hospital and claimed MU Health "knowingly and willfully failed and... More >>
12 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 6:06:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control said more than 50 percent of children with ADHD between 2-5 years old... More >>
12 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 5:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY — Kansas City Mayor Sly James says the city will not hold an election this year on whether... More >>
13 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:50:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden paid a visit to Thayer Elementary... More >>
14 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Supreme Court judges have ruled against what some called a tax loophole for doughnut holes.... More >>
14 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 3:58:49 PM CDT in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have approved the creation of a commission to review the University of Missouri System's... More >>
14 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 3:46:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Toddlers have shot seven people in Missouri since 2015, according to a Washington Post analysis. Only Georgia had... More >>
15 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 2:52:00 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A man who left a Joplin hospital against medical advice after he was wounded by police is... More >>
16 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 2:02:59 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman who was charged with abandoning her baby in a Manhattan subway station in 2014... More >>
16 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:50:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Legislature has voted to override the governor and block a wage hike for home-care... More >>
16 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
LIBERTY (AP) — Authorities said that a building has partially collapsed on the historic square in the Kansas City suburb... More >>
17 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An Illinois man was taken into custody Monday night charged with dismembering a human body. Police arrested... More >>
17 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia bought new billing software designed to make utility bills easier to read. The... More >>
17 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 12:57:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The United Way of Central Missouri's 2016 campaign theme was revealed with a mini parade Tuesday morning.... More >>
18 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 12:23:00 PM CDT in News
BOONVILLE - The Boonville Police Department's new K-9, Vik, passed the certification to be a Police Utility Dog, according to... More >>
20 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 10:18:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
7am 55°
8am 56°
9am 59°
10am 62°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
6:30a
Are We There Yet?
7:00a
Intelligence for Your Life
7:30a
Cops Reloaded

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Heartbeat
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld