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Document and Benefit Fraud

2 co-conspirators of Virginia visa fraud ring sentenced

NORFOLK, Va - Otis Martin, 48, of Suffolk, Va. and Ryan Bulkley, 25, of Richmond, Va., were both sentenced in Norfolk federal court today for immigration-related offenses. This case was the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting as part of a larger task force.

United States District Court Judge Mark S. Davis sentenced Martin to five months in prison for fraud and misuse of visas, and Bulkley to three years of probation for making a false statement related to citizenship. Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement today. Martin previously pled guilty on July 1, 2009, and Bulkley pled guilty on June 25, 2009.

According to court documents, Martin and Bulkley conspired with the Viktar Krus organization in Virginia Beach, Va. in visa fraud. Viktar Krus and 21 other foreign nationals and U.S. citizens were indicted on January 13, 2009 for massive immigration-related fraud. Krus, the organizer and leader was sentenced on July 17, 2009 to 87 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy, visa fraud and tax evasion charges.

This case was investigated by a dedicated task force focused on dismantling the Krus criminal organization. The task force investigating this case included ICE, the IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Office of the Inspector General; the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI's Norfolk Field Office, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Immigration fraud poses a severe threat to national security and public safety because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals, and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States. U.S. ICE uproots the infrastructure of illegal immigration by detecting and deterring immigration fraud.

Individuals and criminal enterprises often use fraudulent documents to obtain drivers' licenses and social security cards. Traffickers and alien smugglers use these documents to facilitate movement into and within the United States and they are also used to shield illegal aliens from detection within our society. Fraudulent documents may be used to obtain financial benefits and entitlements intended for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and to obtain unauthorized employment.