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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Fort Bragg Soldier and Marriage Fraud Beneficiary Sentenced for Visa Fraud, False Statements in Immigration Proceedings

RALEIGH, N.C. – A soldier from Fayetteville who engaged in a sham marriage with a United States citizen was sentenced today to time served in prison.  On October 20, 2021, Maryam Movsum Hasanova pled guilty to one count of visa fraud.  She was also ordered to be promptly deported from the United States and to pay $41,511.06 in restitution to the United States Army.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Hasanova, 35, a citizen of Azerbaijan, entered the United States as an exchange visitor.  Shortly after that status expired in March 2014, Hasanova was introduced to a United States citizen, who was paid approximately $15,000 to marry Hasanova in exchange for her lawful permanent resident card (“green card”). Hasanova and the United States citizen were married in New York in October of 2015.

Thereafter, Hasanova and the United States citizen submitted fraudulent applications to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting Hasanova’s adjustment of status as a lawful permanent resident in the United States.  Hasanova and the U.S. citizen were interviewed at the USCIS office in New York, NY.  Both attested under oath they were married in good faith. As a result of the interview, USCIS approved the application and granted Hasanova lawful permanent residency.  Once Hasanova obtained her green card and joined the U.S. Military, she began collecting U.S. Military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the married rate.  

Michael F. Easley, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.

“Hasanova’s schemes to circumvent the law have failed and now she will face accountability for her actions,” said Special Agent In Charge Ronnie Martinez, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in North Carolina and South Carolina. “Protecting the integrity of the nation’s immigration system is of vital importance and HSI prioritizes this mission.”

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force, in Fayetteville, NC, and was assisted by US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the Fraud Detection and National Security unit of USCIS.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No.5:21CR00236-BO.

Updated December 7, 2021