Durham immigrants charged with arranging fraudulent marriages | News

Durham immigrants charged with arranging fraudulent marriages

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Federal prosecutors have charged two immigrants living in Durham with arranging fake marriages in order to stay in the country. In a complaint filed last Friday, Regina Zsigmond and Krisztian Komondi are charged with visa fraud and conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

The complaint was based on an affidavit by Tony Bell, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigation.

Bell stated that Zsigmond and Komondi were a couple who entered the U.S. in 2003 on tourist visas, which they overstayed. In 2010 they divorced, and within six  months they entered into fraudulent marriages with U.S. citizens and applied for permanent residency, according to Bell.

Last September the pair was encountered by customs in Port Canaveral, Fla., reentering the country after a cruise in the Bahamas. They said they were just friends. In March, federal agents interviewed their purported American spouses in Durham. The spouses admitted to entering illegitimate marriages, and that Komondi had agreed to pay his spouse $3,000 in exchange. At the time, the purported spouses were actually in their own live-in relationship, according to Bell. 

Last month Komondi and Zsigmond were scheduled for an interview with customs at Raleigh-Durham Airport. Agents established surveillance on various houses in Durham. They observed Komondi leave his house on Andover Road and pick up his puported spouse on Bogarde Street, and then transport her to the airport for the interview, during which time he alleged to be living with her. Agents also witnessed Zsigmond pick up his purported spouse at her residence on Bahama Woods Lane and take her to the airport for the interview, where he alleged to be living with her. 

Last Wednesday agents encountered Komondi at his residence along with his pregnant girlfriend, who was determined to have entered the country in February from Hungary, and have overstayed her visa. The same day, agents encountered Zsigmond at her residence along with her Hungarian boyfriend, who was determined to have overstayed his visa. Komondi and Ferencz were transported to a local Homeland Security office, where Komondi admitted to offering payment to his U.S. spouse in return for marrying him, according to Bell.

A court hearing is set for Wednesday.




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