FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 2, 2009
Further Information Contact:
Public Information Officer
Phone (703) 842-4050 Fax: (703) 299-2584
Web Address: www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae
Former Virginia Beach Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Marriage Fraud Conspiracy
(Norfolk, Va) - Federal and local authorities announced today that former Virginia Beach Police officer Andrey Savelyev, 40, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and making statements with regard to immigration fraud. Savelyev faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 1, 2010, by United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; A.J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the Norfolk Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; A.M. Jacocks, Chief of Police for the Virginia Beach Police Department; Thomas Betro, Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); J. Michael Netherland, Resident Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Office of Investigations in Norfolk; and Frank Klepadlow, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation’s Norfolk Field Office; all joined in the announcement.
“Our office has zero tolerance for law enforcement officers who abuse their authority,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “We appreciate the Virginia Beach Police Department for working closely with us in investigating and prosecuting this case.”
According to court records, Savelyev admitted he became aware that a female Russian national had entered into a fraudulent marriage with a Navy enlisted man in exchange for $6,000 and that the enlisted man later wished to obtain a divorce from the Russian female. Savelyev was contacted by the Russian woman’s friends and, as a result, Savelyev, while on duty, drove to the enlisted man’s home, showed his badge, and threatened that if the enlisted man did not uphold his part of the conspiracy, then Savelyev would arrest him for assaulting a friend of the Russian female. The Navy enlisted man remained in the fraudulent marriage and was later convicted of federal immigration charges.
Savelyev further admitted he exceeded his authorized access of the Virginia Beach Police Department’s computer database in an effort to obtain confidential information about the Navy enlisted man. In May and June 2009, an FBI agent questioned Savelyev about his knowledge of marriage fraud between aliens and Navy personnel in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Savelyev admitted he lied when he denied during those interviews any knowledge of the Russian women and the Navy enlisted man whom he allegedly confronted and threatened to arrest.
This case was investigated by the Norfolk Field Office of the FBI and the Virginia Beach Police Department, which cooperated fully with federal investigators since the alleged activities came to light in August 2007. The NCIS, ICE and IRS also assisted in investigating this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen Haynie and Joseph DePadilla.