Phony Conferences and Visa Fraud By UN Employees – US Attorney

MICHAEL J. GARCIA, United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced the guilty pleas today
of VYACHESLAV MANOKHIN, a United Nations employee working out of
U.N. headquarters in Manhattan, and VLADIMIR DEREVIANKO, a New
Jersey resident, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently
procure large numbers of United States entry visas for non-U.S.
citizens. 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. The pleas were entered before United States
Magistrate Judge MICHAEL H. DOLINGER in Manhattan federal court.
According to the Complaint and Indictment filed in the case, and
statements made during the guilty plea proceeding:
MANOKHIN and DEREVIANKO’s visa fraud scheme involved
the use of numerous fraudulent documents, some of which were
prepared on United Nations letterhead. The documents requested
U.S. entry visas, so that aliens could attend United Nations
conferences in the United States. However, the aliens neither
attended the U.N. conferences nor intended to do so. DEREVIANKO
prepared the fraudulent documents, and MANOKHIN used his position
at the U.N. to make it appear as though the U.N. supported the
visa applications.

For example, one document — submitted in support of an
entry visa for an individual named KAMILJAN TURSUNOV — 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 TURSUNOV visa application, MANOKHIN stated that he was
an assistant to “Leonardo Brackett,” and confirmed, falsely that
TURSUNOV had been invited to come to the United States for a U.N.
conference. Based in part on these assurances, TURSUNOV obtained
an entry visa and entered the United States. When TURSUNOV was
later arrested in the U.S., he admitted to federal agents that he
paid $15,000 to a person in Uzbekistan for his U.S. entry visa;
that his visa application suggested that he was coming to the
United States to attend a conference; and that he did not attend
the conference and had no intention of doing so. Rather,
TURSUNOV admitted, he entered the United States, moved to
Florida, and had been living there for over two years.
TURSUNOV pleaded guilty in connection with this matter
on January 25, 2008, before United States District Judge HAROLD
BAER. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

MANOKHIN and DEREVIANKO each pleaded guilty to one
count of conspiring to obtain entry visas by means of false
statements. Sentencing has been scheduled before United States
District Judge HAROLD BAER, for June 26, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work United States
Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs
Enforcement and the United States Department of Labor, Office of
the Inspector General. Mr. GARCIA also praised the United States
Mission to the United Nations; the United Nations Office of Legal
Affairs; 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.
08-062 ###

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