Thursday, January 17, 2013

Romanian Couple's US Citizenship Revoked for Marriage and Immigration Fraud

An Idaho couple, both from Romania, were sentenced Monday, January 14, 2013, to two years' probation, a $1,000 fine and revocation of their U.S. citizenship status for unlawful procurement of U.S. citizenship, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Ramona Alina Fenesan, 32, and Florin Fleisher, 34, formerly of Ketchum, pleaded guilty last fall to the charges. According to their plea agreements, Fenesan and Fleisher admitted to entering into fraudulent marriages in 2003 with U.S. citizens for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits - namely U.S. citizenship.

Prosecutors say that once married, the defendants filed applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain lawful permanent resident status and later naturalized based upon their marriages. Shortly after obtaining citizenship, Fenesan and Fleischer divorced their U.S. citizen spouses and married each other. At sentencing, defense counsel informed the court that as a result of the fraud and resulting convictions, the couple had lost their home and their jobs.

The two will now be taken into ICE custody and placed in removal proceedings. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho.

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