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Marriage-for-hire scheme set for jury trial

Feds say Russian men, women sought fast track to visas

An elaborate marriage-for-hire scheme that allegedly involved Brevard County residents and 
non-citizens from Russia seeking “Legal Permanent Resident” status is set to start Dec. 3 before Judge Paul Byron in U.S. District Court in Orlando.

Federal investigators teamed up with Brevard County Clerk of the Court Scott Ellis to
expose a marriage-for-hire scheme that involved international aliens (non- U.S. citizens) 
in a plot to stage bogus marriages to gain an LPR “Legal permanent resident” status.

In a lawsuit filed in August, William Mathew Tex Price and April Price aka April Colleen Moore,
along with five aliens were named in an indictment that sites the alleged motive reading in part: 
“Immediate relatives had special immigration priority and did not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available to them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for spouses of United States citizens."

Sources told News 6 Thursday that federal investigators “have indicted a second round of individuals for marriage fraud.”  The first round, according to the source, was in 2016, two people (Denis Yakovlev and Meghan Toole) were charged.

 In the second round, seven people have been charged. Four have been arrested and three remain at-large in the U.S.  

In total, nine people have been charged  –including Yakovlev, Toole, William Matthew Tex Price, April Colleen Moore, Khagan Mushfig Oglu Nabili, Zafar Bakhramovich Yadigarov, Svetlana Vladimirovna Shakhramanyan, Maria Alexandra Rogacheva, and Valeriy Tsoy.

Maria Alexandra Rogacheva has a change plea hearing set for Nov. 29. 

 William Matthew Tex Price has a change of plea hearing set for Nov. 29.

In addition, News 6 has confirmed William Matthew Tex Price has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A spokesperson for Ellis’ office told News 6 it is still  working with federal investigators and has been asked not to comment because of the ongoing investigation.


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