At the point when 24-year-old Yuliya Kalinina swung to the Internet looking for a spouse, she made it completely clear what she was searching for in a relationship:
«Green Card Marriage — Will pay $300/month. Add up to $15,000,» the Russian national living in Los Angeles wrote in a promotion set on the Craigslist site. «This is entirely dispassionate business offer, intimacy not included.»
Just on the off chance that any future Romeos weren’t taking the clue, she included, «NOT required to live respectively.»
Kalinina’s immediate approach was extremely appealing, drawing the consideration not just of the man who might wed her, additionally of specialists from U.S. Migration and Customs Enforcement.
After almost two years of what government prosecutors claim was a sham marriage, Kalinina and her 30-year-old spouse, Benjamin C. Adams, were captured a week ago at isolated homes.
Prosecutors say Kalinina rented Adams another Ford Mustang for his inconvenience.
She likewise dealt with the wedding game plans: Performing the service was Dmitri Chavkerov, an Internet-appointed priest who additionally happened to be Kalinina’s live-in beau.
«I’d say it’s a genuinely unmitigated case of marriage extortion,» said Assistant U.S. Atty. Curtis A. Family, one of the prosecutors looking into it.
Robert Schoch, specialist accountable for ICE examinations in Los Angeles, said it was the main criminal case he knew about in which individuals had supposedly utilized the Internet to build a deceitful marriage with expectations of getting a green card.
As indicated by a criminal grievance recorded in U.S. Locale Court in Los Angeles, Kalinina started publicizing in the individual advertisements area of Craigslist in October 2005.
She posted no less than eight promotions, a large portion of them titled «Green Card Marriage — Will pay $300/month. Add up to $15,000.»
As indicated by the court papers, ICE operators likewise acquired messages from Kalinina’s Google account in which she and Adams talked about their potential marriage.
«To what extent does it need to keep going for?» Adams supposedly asked, by Jan. 9, 2006, email.
«Marriage will take 2-3 years (in all probability 2),» Kalinina reacted.
Adams then told Kalinina that he had awful credit and recommended she rent an auto for him in return for consenting to wed her, the dissension claims. The two were hitched Feb. 17, 2006.
After a month, Kalinina rented Adams a 2006 Ford Mustang, the records state. That April, the couple documented printed material trying to build up lasting residency for Kalinina.
At the point when stood up to by ICE specialists months after the fact, the records state, Kalinina and her sweetheart — the man who played out the wedding service — conceded that the marriage to Adams was an extortion expected to acquire a green card. Wedding her beau would have done nothing to help her migration status, since he is in the nation illicitly.
Lawyer Dale Rubin, who is speaking to Kalinina, said his customer has a pending refuge application however was worried that it wouldn’t be allowed before she was because of leave the nation.
He said Kalinina didn’t have any acquaintance with it was unlawful to wed for a green card, which he said was prove by the conspicuous dialect in her promotion.
«For reasons unknown, in case you’re from Russia, you think the best approach to get around an issue is to toss cash at it,» he said.
Rubin additionally blamed government operators examining the case for kicking back and sitting tight for his customer to carry out a wrongdoing instead of caution her that what she was proposing in the promotion was illegal.
«They thought about this from Day One,» Rubin said, including that specialists checking the Internet found the advertisements well before the marriage happened. «Do they go to her and say shouldn’t go about it that way? No. They hold up until they have a wrongdoing.»
Kalinina, a slight, mild-mannered fair, showed up in court Thursday, cuffed at the midsection and wearing leg irons. She listened to the procedures through a mediator as Rubin asked U.S. Justice Judge Jennifer T. Lum to discharge his customer on $15,000 money security.
Rubin told Lum that Kalinina was right now in the nation legitimately, had no past criminal record and was confronting a most extreme of six months in jail for her wrongdoing.
She likewise has a hotly anticipated hearing in her shelter case planned for next Thursday, at which she will contend that she was mistreated in her local Russia in light of her Armenian legacy, he said. On the off chance that indicted the marriage extortion, she would confront expelling in the wake of serving her sentence.
«She has each motivating force to battle this case,» he said.
Lum requested Kalinina discharged on $25,000 money security and set her on home restriction with electronic observing.
Adams’ lawyer, Deputy Federal Public Defender John Littrell, declined to remark.
Susan MacTavish, a representative for Craigslist, said in an email that around 30 million promotions are put on the site every month and that clients routinely «wave to» wrong ones.
Also, she thought of, «We utilize a wide assortment of specialized measures to stop fake movement, and are continually attempting to include new ones. Any promotions that are against our terms of utilization and conveyed to our consideration we bring down promptly, and we do work intimately with law requirement when the event emerges.»
Candid Johnston, colleague specialist responsible for ICE examinations in Los Angeles, said he wasn’t especially amazed by the explicit dialect in Kalinina’s advertisement.
«It’s only one case of what’s out there on the Internet,» he said.