LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, United States Atto…

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, SALVATORE DALESSANDRO, the Acting
Special Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Homeland Security’s
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), and
GORDON S. HEDDELL, the Inspector General for the United States
Department of Labor (“DOL”), announced today the unsealing of
charges against VYACHESLAV MANOKHIN, a United Nations (“U.N.”)
employee working out of U.N. headquarters in Manhattan, VLADIMIR
DEREVIANKO, and KAMILJAN TURSUNOV for carrying out a scheme to
provide illegal entry into the United States for numerous non-
United States citizens (“Aliens”). The scheme involved
fraudulent documents, some of which were prepared on United
Nations letterhead, that requested U.S. Entry Visas so that
Aliens could attend conferences in the United States that either
did not exist or that the Aliens did not attend. MANOKHIN and
DEREVIANKO were arrested earlier today. TURSUNOV has been in ICE
custody since July 25, for failing to appear at an immigration
proceeding; TURSUNOV will be brought to Manhattan in connection
with the criminal charge in the Complaint.

According to the
Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

From April 2005 to the present, MANOKHIN and DEREVIANKO
worked together to prepare documents that were submitted to
immigration officials and other entities around the world in
support of requests by various Aliens for U.S. entry visas.
MANOKHIN used his position at the U.N. to make it appear as
though the U.N. supported the visa applications, so that the
Aliens could enter the United States — purportedly to
participate in conferences organized by non-governmental
organizations, by the U.N., or by entities associated with the
U.N. Many of the conferences were to be held at U.N.
headquarters in Manhattan.

In most instances, the Alien was successful in obtaining a visa and entering the United States.

For example, one document, submitted in support of an
entry visa for TURSUNOV and another individual, was prepared on
U.N. Development Programme (“UNDP”) letterhead; purported to be
signed by a non-existent UNDP official named “Leonardo Brackett”;
and included as a contact MANOKHIN’s telephone number at U.N.
headquarters. When asked by a caller about the visa application,
MANOKHIN stated that he was an assistant to “Brackett,” and
falsely confirmed that TURSUNOV had been invited to come to the
United States for a U.N. conference. TURSUNOV later admitted to
federal agents that he paid $15,000 to a person in Uzbekistan for
his U.S. entry visa; that his (TURSUNOV’s) visa application
suggested that he was coming to the United States to attend a
conference; and that, in fact, he (TURSUNOV) did not attend the
conference and had no intention of doing so. Rather, TURSUNOV
admitted, he entered the United States, moved to Florida, and has
been living there for over two years. MANOKHIN himself admitted
to a U.N. investigator that he had allowed DEREVIANKO to use his
(MANOKHIN’s) U.N. telephone number as a contact number on various
immigration documents and that, at DEREVIANKO’s request, MANOKHIN
agreed to state that visa applicants were legitimate U.N.
conference attendees in the event that he (MANOKHIN) received any
inquiries.

MANOKHIN, DEREVIANKO, and TURSUNOV are each charged
with conspiracy to commit fraud with regard to immigration
documents. DEREVIANKO is also charged with one count of making
false statements to a federal immigration official.
MANOKHIN and DEREVIANKO are scheduled to appear this
afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge KEVIN N. FOX.
TURSUNOV is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court at a
later date.

MANOKHIN, 45, is a resident of Greenwich, Connecticut,
and a citizen of the Russian Federation. DEREVIANKO, 44, is a
resident of New Jersey. TURSUNOV, 44, is a resident of Florida.

If convicted of the charges in the Complaint, MANOKHIN and
TURSUNOV each face a maximum term of imprisonment of five years,
and DEREVIANKO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years.
Mr. GARCIA praised ICE and DOL for their efforts in
this continuing investigation. Mr. GARCIA also praised the
United States Mission to the United Nations and the United
Nations Office of Internal Oversight, for their assistance on
this matter.

Assistant United States Attorneys MICHAEL FARBIARZ and
IRIS LAN are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations,
and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven
guilty.

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