Thursday, September 27, 2012

Russian National Pleads Guilty for Immigration Bribe Attempts

A Russian national pleaded guilty to bribery following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Klara Rayymkulova, 51, a Russian national, knowingly and intentionally offered $5,000 to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to commit and aid in the committing of immigration fraud.

On May 1, 2011, Rayymkulova arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport, in Queens, N.Y., aboard Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, Turkey. Rayymkulova was traveling with her adult daughter and an adult male, and possessed a B1-B2 non-immigrant visa. Upon arrival for inspection, Rayymkulova presented to CBP inspectors a fraudulent business invitation letter. The date on the letter was altered, it referred to Rayymkulova as a male, and the phone number listed for the business was disconnected.

According to court documents, after questioning by a Russian speaking CBP inspector, Rayymkulova admitted the letter was fraudulent and that she had paid for the letter. During the processing, Rayymkulova offered the Russian speaking CBP inspector an unspecified amount of money so that she might remain in the United States. The CBP inspector terminated the interview and advised supervisors of Rayymkulova's offer.

During an interview with a ICE OPR special agent, Rayymkulova again reiterated an offer of money to remain in the United States and offered $5,000 for her release, and offered another $5,000 for her daughter's release that she would send from Russia.

Rayymkulova will be sentenced December 21, 2012. She faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

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