- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Ukrainian woman has pleaded guilty to taking part in a marriage fraud in order to stay in the U.S.

The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri said Monday that 40-year-old Darya Chernova pleaded guilty to participating in the marriage fraud conspiracy.

Another defendant, 62-year-old James Douglas Barding, of Jefferson City, pleaded guilty earlier to participating in the marriage fraud.

Prosecutors say Chernova and Barding had an affair, and the only purpose for Chernova’s marriage to another U.S. citizen was so she could evade immigration laws and stay in the U.S. with Barding.

Sentencing hasn’t been scheduled.

The prosecutor’s office says because Chernova has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, her removal from the U.S. is presumed to be mandatory.

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