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Document and Benefit Fraud

Romanian couple living in Idaho pleads guilty to immigration fraud

BOISE, Idaho — A Romanian couple pleaded guilty Monday to federal immigration fraud charges stemming from a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Victor Raul Fenesan, 31, pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a U.S. visa and Claudia Luminita Beian, 33, pleaded guilty to unlawful procurement of U.S. citizenship. In their plea agreements, the Boise couple admitted that in 2004 they both married U.S. citizens for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits. Neither resided with their spouses, but rather continued to live with each other. In April 2005, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted both Fenesan and Beian lawful permanent residence, which prosecutors say they would not have received had they disclosed the fraudulent nature of their marriages. Beian later became a naturalized U.S. citizen as a result of her fraudulent marriage.

As part of her plea agreement, Beian stipulated to an order of denaturalization revoking her citizenship. Fenesan did not attempt to obtain U.S. citizenship. The defendants each face up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, in addition to being placed into administrative removal proceedings by ICE.

Beian and Fenesan are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho.