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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 14, 2013

Two Romanian Nationals Sentenced For Naturalization Fraud

BOISE – Romanian nationals Ramona Alina Fenesan, 32, and Florin Fleischer, 34, both formerly living in Ketchum, Idaho, were sentenced today for unlawful procurement of United States citizenship, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced each defendant to two years’ probation, imposed a $1,000 fine, and entered an order revoking their United States citizenship. They will be subject to immigration enforcement action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fenesan and Fleischer pleaded guilty to the charge in September and October 2012, respectively.

According to plea agreements, Fenesan and Fleischer entered into fraudulent marriages with United States citizens in the fall of 2003, with the sole purpose of evading immigration laws and obtaining immigration benefits. According to court documents, the defendants did not reside with the individual they married. Following their marriages, the defendants filed paperwork with the Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), seeking lawful permanent resident status based on their fraudulent marriage to a U.S. citizen. USCIS subsequently approved their applications and the defendants became naturalized United States citizens. Upon receiving naturalization, Fenesan and Fleischer divorced their U.S. citizen spouses, with whom they had entered into a fraudulent marriage, and married each other.

At today’s sentencing hearings, defense counsel informed the court that as a result of the fraud and the resulting convictions, the defendants lost their home and their jobs, and will be deported back to Romania.

“U.S. citizenship is a privilege deserved only by those who obtain it legally,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees HSI investigations in Idaho. “As this case shows, HSI will move aggressively to identify and prosecute fraudsters who corrupt the immigration process for personal gain.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).