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Document and Benefit Fraud
09/12/2008

3 plead guilty in Navy marriage fraud scheme

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Three individuals have entered guilty pleas in a marriage fraud scheme involving two U.S. Navy sailors from the Mayport Naval base following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led investigation.

Two of the defendants, Andrew Smock, 22, of Orlando, and Yuliya Piskovaya, age 22, of Kaliningrad, Russia, each face a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Evgeny Talisov, 26, of Neptune Beach, who also pled guilty to concealing Piskovaya from arrest following her indictment for marriage fraud faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.

According to court documents Talisov brokered a fraudulent marriage between Piskovaya, a Russian national and an exotic dancer at a local night club, and Smock, an enlisted sailor in the U.S. Navy, the day before Piskovaya's student visa was set to expire. The marriage enabled Smock to fraudulently claim more than $1,000 per month in tax-free housing allowance payments and provided Piskovaya a basis to claim permanent residence status so she could remain in the United States with Talisov, the married sailor with whom she was having a romantic relationship.

The case was investigated by ICE and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Ron DeSantis of the United States Attorney Middle District of Florida Office.