BOISE, Idaho – A Ketchum woman was sentenced Monday to two years’ probation and revocation of her U.S. citizenship for committing naturalization fraud, as a result an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Simona Rus, 36, pleaded guilty last November 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 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS ultimately granted Rus naturalization as a United States citizen as a result of her fraudulent marriage.
"By cheating the immigration system, Rus ultimately cheated herself out of the American dream," said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, which oversees HSI’s investigations in Idaho. "The outcome of this case clearly demonstrates that our nation's immigration laws are to be respected, not ignored."
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge revoked Rus’ citizenship and canceled her certificate of naturalization. She will now face removal proceedings and eventual deportation to her native country of Romania.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Idaho District.