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11/18/2013

Idaho woman faces prison time, loss of citizenship for naturalization fraud

BOISE, Idaho – A Ketchum woman, who pleaded guilty Monday to immigration fraud, faces up to 10 years in prison, revocation of her U.S. citizenship and deportation to Romania, as a result of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Simona Rus, 36, pleaded guilty to unlawful procurement of U.S. citizenship and admitted to entering into a sham marriage with a U.S. citizen for the sole purpose of obtaining citizenship. According to the plea agreement, Rus married the U.S. citizen in 2003 but never resided with her legal spouse as a husband or wife.

In January 2009, Rus misrepresented the nature of her marriage in an application for naturalization filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS ultimately granted Rus citizenship based upon her fraudulent marriage. As part of her plea agreement, Rus stipulated to an order revoking her citizenship.

Rus is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 10, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge. In addition to a prison term, she faces a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release, in addition to administrative removal proceedings.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Idaho District.