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Press Release

Russian Woman Sentenced for Marriage Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Eliza Akhmetshina, age 29, and a citizen of Russia residing in Albany, was sentenced today to 2 years of probation for conspiring to commit marriage fraud.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also ordered Akhmetshina to pay a $1,000 fine.

As part of her February 7, 2017 guilty plea, Akhmetshina admitted that in January 2012, when she was illegally present in the United States (having overstayed on a visitor’s visa), she agreed to pay U.S. citizen Ian Neary $10,000 to marry her so that she could obtain lawful immigration status in the United States. As part of the conspiracy, Akhmetshina falsely represented to U.S. officials that she and Neary lived together at an address in Albany County.

Neary pled guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, and on August 3, 2016 was sentenced by United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino to 2 years of probation.

This case was investigated by HSI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emmet O’Hanlon.

Updated June 14, 2017