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Former Russian national sentenced to time served in visa scam

Alexander Gormatov, 34, now of Portland, paid an 18-year-old woman to marry him and then lied to federal officials.
Credit: Micha? Chodyra
Photo: Thinkstock

PORTLAND, Maine — A former Russian national was sentenced Thursday in federal court to serve 11 months of time served for visa fraud, making false statements, and conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

Alexander Gormatov, 34, must also pay a $2,000 fine and serve one year of supervised release, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee.

Gormatov entered the United States on a student/work visa in 2009 and, in 2010, adjusted his status to an academic student visa by attending Southern Maine Community College.

In 2011, he met a 17-year-old girl on Craigslist, and a few months later, when she turned 18, he paid her to marry him to obtain a permanent immigration benefit, McElwee said.

Gormatov then quit school and, in November 2012, became "unlawfully present" in the U.S.

The following year, the couple made false statements on immigration documents in an attempt to adjust Gormatov's immigration status. And when interviewed in 2013, they falsely claimed to be living as husband and wife.

The woman gave birth to a child conceived with her live-in boyfriend in January 2014, but Gormatov's name was filed on the birth certificate. Gormatov used that birth certificate to remove the conditions of his permanent residence.

Gormatov left the county in January 2017 after learning he was being investigated and failed to return within one year.

When he returned to the United States in May 2019, he falsely represented the child's paternity on a form filed in Latvia, McElwee said.

The couple was arrested on Feb. 13, 2020.

Under terms of a plea agreement, the woman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and making false statements to a government agency.

The case was investigated by the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of State.

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