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11 Mar, 2008 02:42

Russians admit UN visa fraud scam

Two Russians have pleaded guilty to fraudulently using fake United Nations documents to gain American visas paperwork. UN translator Vyacheslav Manokhin and his partner Vladimir Derevyanko who has American citizenship, were arrested in August last year.

According to the US district attorney, Manokhin used UN letterhead to create fake documents that would allow foreigners to obtain visas to enter the US.

Investigators said Manokhin charged up to $US 15,000 for each visa he secured. According to investigators the scheme began in 2005 when Manokhin sent letters stating foreign citizens were planning to attend non-government or the UN conferences.

Officials say Derevyanko prepared the foreigner’s documents and Manokhin used his position in the UN to make it appear that the UN supported the visa application.

Federal prosecutors said that even if the visitors did not attend the meetings or the conferences did not even exist.

Manokhin and Derevyanko each pled guilty to one count of conspiring to obtain entry visas by means of false statements.

If convicted, they will serve up to five years in prison.