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Press Release

Two Citizens of India Sentenced for Marriage and Immigration Fraud

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

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Gaurav Mehta, age 36, and Isha Mehta, also known as Isha Kamboj, also known as Isha Johnson, age 33, citizens of India, were each sentenced today to 3 years of probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, following jury convictions for marriage fraud and immigration 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).     

The sentence was issued by Senior United States District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy and followed a one-week trial in November 2015.  As part of their respective sentences, each defendant must also complete 100 hours of community service.  As citizens of India not lawfully present in the United States, the Mehtas also face removal from the country. 

The third defendant who proceeded to trial, Mary Opoka, age 56, of Troy, is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow for marriage fraud. 

The evidence at trial established: Gaurav and Isha Mehta were married in India in February 2006. They claimed to be divorced in India in 2009, but then flew together, along with their child, to the United States, eventually settling in Menands, New York, and working together at a Menands gas station. The Mehtas came to the United States on 6-month tourist visas that expired in 2010; neither had authorization to stay in the United States. 

In October 2011, Opoka, a U.S. citizen, and Gaurav Mehta, an alien unlawfully present in the United States as of January 2010, were married in Troy. The fraudulent marriage was designed to enable Gaurav Mehta to stay in the United States as a spouse of a U.S. citizen. 

Isha Mehta, an alien unlawfully present as of January 2010, married a U.S. citizen, in Troy, in January 2013. Gaurav Mehta paid the citizen $2,000 to marry Isha. The fraudulent marriage was designed to enable Isha Mehta to stay in the United States as a spouse of a U.S. citizen. 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward P. Grogan.

Updated July 14, 2016