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Press Release

Woman Enters Guilty Plea in Federal Court to Making False Statements Under Oath to Immigration Officials

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Merav Hizmi, age 41, of Surfside Beach, SC, pled guilty in federal court in Florence to Making False Statements Under Oath to an Immigration Official, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1015(a).  United States District Judge Bryan Harwell, of Florence, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

The evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that Hizmi, an Israeli citizen who had married another Israeli citizen in 1996, came to the United States and, without having been divorced from her Israeli husband, married a United States citizen in 2003.  During the process of attempting to change her immigration status based on her alleged marriage to the U. S. citizen, Hizmi was interviewed by an official of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  During the interview, Hizmi stated under oath that she was not and had never been married to anyone other than her United States citizen spouse, which statement she knew to be false.

Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty the defendant can receive is imprisonment for 5 years and a fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by agents of ICE-Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services- Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.  Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office handled the case.



Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated September 18, 2017