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Document and Benefit Fraud

Romanian couple living in Idaho sentenced for immigration fraud

BOISE, Idaho — A marriage fraud scheme has ended with a Romanian woman losing her U.S. citizenship, and both she and her "spouse" now face deportation, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Victor Raul Fenesan, 32, and Claudia Luminita Beian, 34, both of Boise, were each sentenced Monday to a fine of $2,000 and two years' probation. In August, Fenesan pleaded guilty to obtaining a U.S. visa by fraud, while Beian admitted to unlawful procurement of citizenship. As part of Beian's sentencing, U.S District Judge Edward J. Lodge entered an order of denaturalization, which revokes her status as a U.S. citizen. Both now face removal from the U.S.

"As this case demonstrates, abusing our immigration system and illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship will not be tolerated," said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees Idaho investigations. "These individuals will have a lifetime to contemplate the devastating consequences of manipulating the process—while they are back in their home country without the life they started to build in the U.S."

According to plea agreements, Fenesan and Beian admitted to marrying U.S. citizens in 2004 for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits. Neither of them resided with their spouses as husband and wife, but rather continued to live with each other. In April 2005, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted Fenesan and Beian lawful permanent residency, which they would not have received had they disclosed the fraudulent nature of their marriages. In February 2010, Beian became a naturalized citizen as a result of her fraudulent marriage.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Idaho District.