A former Portland couple have pleaded guilty to arranging sham marriages that would allow them to stay in the U.S.

Marat Muslimov, 30, pleaded guilty to marriage and visa fraud conspiracies and making false statements to a government agency. Dziyana (Diana) Biruk, 29, pleaded guilty to visa fraud and making false statements to a government agency.

The pleas were entered in U.S. District Court in Portland on Wednesday. Muslimov and Biruk lived in Portland and now live in New York City.

According to court records, Muslimov, a Russian citizen, conspired with a U.S. citizen to enter into a sham marriage from about September 2010 until about August 2011 so he could become a lawful permanent resident, or “green card” holder.

Muslimov submitted false documents and lied under oath to immigration authorities about his marriage and falsely claimed to be living with the U.S. citizen, as husband and wife, in Portland, while he and Biruk were living as a couple in Portland.

In June 2012, Biruk, a citizen of Belarus, made false statements in immigration documents concerning her marriage to another U.S. citizen. Biruk falsely claimed that she and the U.S. citizen were living together, as husband and wife, in Hollis when she was really living with Muslimov.

Each of them faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and Biruk also faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on her visa fraud charge. They will be sentenced after a report is filed by the U.S. Probation Office.

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