Former Portland Couple Pleads Guilty to Fraud and False Statement Charges
Contact: Darcie N. McElwee
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Marat Muslimov, 30, and Dziyana (Diana) Biruk, 29, both of Bronx, New York and formerly of Portland, Maine, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to charges arising out of sham marriages. Muslimov pleaded guilty to marriage and visa fraud conspiracies and making false statements to a government agency. Biruk pleaded guilty to visa fraud and making false statements to a government agency.
According to court records, from about September 2010 until about August 2011, Muslimov, a Russian citizen, conspired with a U.S. citizen to enter into a sham marriage so that he could become a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”), or green card holder. To that end, Muslimov submitted false documents and lied under oath to immigration authorities about his marriage to the U.S. citizen. Muslimov also falsely claimed to be living with the U.S. citizen, as husband and wife, in Portland, when, in fact, he and Biruk were living as a couple in Portland.
In June 2012, Biruk, a citizen of Belarus, made false statements in immigration documents on the basis of her sham marriage to another U.S. citizen so that she could become an LPR. Biruk falsely claimed that she and the U.S. citizen were living together, as husband and wife, in Hollis, Maine when, in fact, she was living with Muslimov in Portland.
Biruk faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the visa fraud charge. The remaining charges against both defendants carry penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Both will be sentenced after completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service.