Visa fraud costs man his freedom

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Suffolk man was sentenced to five months in federal prison for immigration-related offenses during a hearing in Norfolk on Tuesday.

United States District Judge Mark S. Davis sentenced Otis Martin on charges of fraud and misuse of visas in a case connected to an immigration conspiracy that encompassed 22 U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.

The judge also sentenced Ryan Bulkley, 25, of Richmond, to three years of probation for making a false statement related to citizenship. Martin pled guilty to his charges in July, and Bulkley pled guilty to his charges in June.

According to court documents, Martin and Bulkley conspired to commit visa fraud with the Viktar Krus organization in Virginia Beach. Indictments against Krus and 21 others were handed down on Jan. 13.

Krus, the organizer and leader, was sentenced in July to 87 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy, visa fraud and tax evasion charges.

The arrests were the result of investigative work by the Eurasion Organized Crime Task Force, according to an announcement by the U.S. Attorney’s office. The task force comprises agents from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division, and a variety of other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.