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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Operation False Haven: Convicted Child Molester Found Guilty of Naturalization Fraud

Greensboro, N.C. – Today in federal court, Vyacheslav Fyodorovitch Rizkhov, age 44, a naturalized citizen of the United States, born in Azerbaijan and residing in Union County, was found guilty of unlawful procurement of naturalization in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section1425(a). The verdict was announced by Senior United States District Judge N. Carlton Tilley, Jr., following a bench trial.

According to court records, on September 17, 2019, Rizkhov fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship by making materially false statements under oath regarding his naturalization application. In response to the question, “Have you ever committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” Rizkhov answered, “No.” However, on March 6, 2020, in the Superior Court of North Carolina in Cabarrus County, Rizkhov was convicted of sexual battery of a physically helpless person and two counts of indecent liberties with a child. Rizkhov was sentenced to a suspended term of imprisonment of between 16 and 29 months and ordered to register as a sex offender. According to court records, all three victims were Rizkhov’s biological children whom he molested over a period of years beginning at least as early as July of 2017. Rizkhov was not arrested until after he was naturalized, thus immigration officials were unaware of his crimes.

Sentencing is set for June 30, 2022, in Greensboro. Rizkhov is subject to up to ten years imprisonment, a period of supervised release, and a fine. Moreover, he is subject to mandatory denaturalization.

Sandra J. Hairston, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, made the announcement. Agents with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations assigned to the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force investigated the case as part of Operation False Haven, an ongoing initiative purpose-built to aggressively target child molesters and other egregious felons who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank J. Chut.

A copy of this press release will be posted on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:21-cr-00128-1.

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Updated January 19, 2022