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December 07, 2007

Russin Hottie Busted In Marriage Scam

Posted in: Deportation, Visas, Crime

LA Times

When 24-year-old Yuliya Kalinina turned to the Internet in search of a husband, she made it absolutely clear what she was looking for in a relationship:

“Green Card Marriage — Will pay $300/month. Total $15,000,” the Russian national living in Los Angeles wrote in an ad placed on the Craigslist website. “This is strictly platonic business offer, sex not involved.”

Just in case any would-be Romeos weren’t taking the hint, she added, “NOT required to live together.”

Kalinina’s direct approach was very attractive, drawing the attention not only of the man who would marry her, but also of agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

After nearly two years of what federal prosecutors allege was a sham marriage, Kalinina and her 30-year-old husband, Benjamin C. Adams, were arrested last week at separate residences.

Prosecutors say Kalinina leased Adams a new Ford Mustang for his trouble.

She also took care of the wedding arrangements: Performing the ceremony was Dmitri Chavkerov, an Internet-ordained minister who also happened to be Kalinina’s live-in boyfriend.

“I’d say it’s a fairly blatant example of marriage fraud,” said Assistant U.S. Atty. Curtis A. Kin, one of the prosecutors on the case.

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