STAMFORD, Conn. — A 51-year-old Stamford man, who is a citizen of the Republic of Georgia, was indicted Friday on charges of brokering sham marriages for up to 60 people to gain immigration status to the U.S., according to prosecutors.
David Nikolashvili was arrested on June 21 and appeared Friday, July 1, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven. He was released on $75,000 bond, said U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly.
According to statements made in court, it alleged that Nikolashvili operated an immigration fraud scheme in which he obtained false immigration status from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services for 50 to 60 citizens of European countries. As part of the scheme, after aliens paid Nikolashvili thousands of dollars, he would arrange sham marriages between the aliens and U.S. citizens in order to obtain immigration benefits for the aliens. The U.S. citizens were paid to enter into the sham marriages.
Last Nov. 3, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Nikolashvili with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and to commit document fraud, which a possible five-year prison term, and six counts of making a false swearing in an immigration matter, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison on each count.
The ongoing investigation is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Office of Fraud Detection and National Security Unit, and U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.