Jefferson City resident pleads guilty to marriage fruad
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City man pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday on counts of marriage fraud.
Oleksandr Nikolayevich Druzenko, also known as "Alex", of Jefferson City married Patricia Anne Ewalt, of El Paso, in 2007 as an effort to remain in the country following an expired visa.
after trying to persuade two other U.S. citizens to marry him so he could remain in the country.
Druzenko came to the United States on a student visa in August 2004 where he attended college in Missouri. In 2007 his student visa expired, forcing him to leave the United States. Druzenko then tried to persuade two other U.S. citizens to marry him when Ewalt agreed to the marriage.
Druzenko and Ewalt as well as two co-defendants, entered an agreement to unlawfully deceive U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to create the fraudulent marriage in an effort to keep Druzenko in the U.S.
Under federal statutes, Druzenko and Ewalt are each subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000
Immigration status for Druzenko will be discussed at a separate hearing but removal is presumptively mandatory.