A judge has sentenced three people for their involvement in a marriage fraud ring in Brevard County.
- District judge sentences 3 for marriage fraud ring
- Ring operated out of Brevard County
- Immigrants came from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan
William Matthew Tex Price, 31, of Cocoa was sentenced to two years in federal prison for marriage fraud, which will run concurrent to a two-year sentence for possessing a firearm, says a Justice Department news release.
Maria Rogacheva, 28, of Russia was sentenced to five months in prison, while Khagan Mushfig Oglu Nabili, 24, of Azerbaijan, was sentenced to time served.
U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron presided over the case.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement worked with the Brevard County Clerk of Court in 2015 to investigate an influx of immigrants from countries such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan who were marrying U.S. citizens in Brevard.
As a result, authorities arrested Denis Yakovlev, 40, of Russia, and Meghan Toole, 28, Cocoa in 2016.
According to the DOJ, Yakovlev admitted to introducing about 100 people to each other that led to sham marriages for immigration benefits, and paid American citizens between $10,000 and $20,000 each.
Yakovlev reportedly recruited Price to facilitate marriages, which Price aided for Nabili and Rogacheva in separate marriages.
Toole is Price’s ex-wife, who was also recruited by Price to enter a sham marriage, according to authorities.