A Russian national living in Marina del Rey who married a man after he responded to her online advertisement seeking a spouse so she could stay in the United States has been convicted of federal charges related to marriage fraud.
United States District Judge John F. Walter ruled Tuesday, February 5th, that Yuliya M. Kalinina, 25, was guilty of marriage fraud and aiding and abetting the making of false statements, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The man she married, Benjamin C. Adams, 30, of West Los Angeles, pleaded guilty last month to marriage fraud and making false statements.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Kalinina came to the United States in 2003 on a visa, which expired in October 2003. She posted 12 advertisements on the Web site Craigslist .org in late 2005 and early 2006. In her advertisements, Kalinina said she sought to marry a United States citizen for the purpose of obtaining permanent resident status.
Kalinina offered her would-be spouse as much as $15,000 in the advertisements, stating, “Green Card Marriage ñ Will pay $300/ month, Total $15,000” and “This is strictly platonic business offer, sex not involved. NOT required to live together.”
In January 2006, Adams responded to Kalinina’s advertisements on Craigslist and agreed to be part of the sham marriage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Approximately one month after their first e-mail exchange, Kalinina and Adams were “married.”
Kalinina’s live-in boyfriend, an Internet-ordained minister, conducted the ceremony. She later leased a new Ford Mustang for Adams.
Kalinina is scheduled to be sentenced by Walter April 28th. She faces a maximum statutory penalty of ten years in federal prison.
Adams, who is scheduled to be sentenced by Walter April 7th, also faces a statutory maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security.