State Employee Among Those Indicted for Marriage Fraud Conspiracy

3 years 4 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
SEDALIA (AP) — Two people have been charged with a felony in a fatal fire in Sedalia. The... More >>
22 minutes ago July 01, 2016 Jul 1, 2016 Friday, July 01 2016 Friday, July 01, 2016 8:14:12 AM CDT in News
KINLOCH (AP) — A St. Louis TV reporter faces charges in the town of Kinloch after being handcuffed and shackled... More >>
25 minutes ago July 01, 2016 Jul 1, 2016 Friday, July 01 2016 Friday, July 01, 2016 8:11:20 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two brothers are facing charges for a shooting in St. Louis that left one person dead... More >>
1 hour ago July 01, 2016 Jul 1, 2016 Friday, July 01 2016 Friday, July 01, 2016 7:35:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis city marshal is jailed for allegedly threatening a mass shooting. A... More >>
1 hour ago July 01, 2016 Jul 1, 2016 Friday, July 01 2016 Friday, July 01, 2016 7:31:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new mural will be going up along the MKT trail in Columbia in July. The Career... More >>
1 hour ago July 01, 2016 Jul 1, 2016 Friday, July 01 2016 Friday, July 01, 2016 7:06:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Friday marks the start of the Fourth of July weekend, which means more drivers will be out... More >>
5 hours ago July 01, 2016 Jul 1, 2016 Friday, July 01 2016 Friday, July 01, 2016 2:43:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Just as the Supreme Court struck down the Texas abortion law, the Columbia Planned Parenthood’s abortion license expired.... More >>
18 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 1:47:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — Missouri passed a new law requiring all students entering ninth grade in public, charter, and private schools to... More >>
18 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 1:40:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY — Some Missouri drivers may see red, white and blue in the form of police lights over the... More >>
19 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 12:55:00 PM CDT in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — A Missouri man accused of killing four of his relatives has pleaded not guilty to charges... More >>
20 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 12:24:00 PM CDT in News
OSAGE BEACH — Starting on July 1, the City of Osage Beach 911 Communications Center will be able to receive... More >>
20 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 12:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — According to Columbia Police Department data, Columbia typically sees an increase in burglaries during July. Spokesperson Bryana... More >>
20 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:54:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
WARRENSBURG (AP) — The president of the University of Central Missouri has been hospitalized after a bicycle crash in Colorado.... More >>
21 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:22:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A company is trying again to build a power line in Missouri for a multistate wind... More >>
21 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:11:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
HALLSVILLE — An Endangered Person Advisory has been issued for a Hallsville area woman who was reported missing on Wednesday.... More >>
21 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 10:57:00 AM CDT in News
MOBERLY — Businesses in Moberly are double-checking money as multiple reporters of counterfeit cash are under investigation by local police.... More >>
23 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 9:08:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — This summer might be a little bit quieter because this year's cicada season, beginning in July, will have... More >>
23 hours ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 8:45:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Low enrollment and more dorms open than needed has caused the University of Missouri to add Respect Residence... More >>
1 day ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 8:13:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
9am 69°
10am 72°
11am 75°
12pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Crazy Talk

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
8:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld