Woman Married 10 times in Alleged Immigration Scam

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
New York, NY

A New York woman got married ten times as part of an alleged immigration scam.

Liana Barrientos first tied the knot when she was 23 in Westchester County, New York, to Mohamed Gerbil in November 1999. She followed that by marrying Ahmed Allam in November 2001, Habibur Rahman in November 2001 as well, Davit Koridze in February 2002, Duran Goktepe in March 2002, Aliaksandr Paharelau in March 2002, Vakhtang Dzneladze in May 2002, Rashid Rajput in July 2002, Kakhaber Khorbaladze in August 2002, and Salle Keita in March 2010. Her last marriage application stated that it was her “first and only” marriage.

Barrientos, 39, is charged with “offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.” She pleaded not guilty on Friday, but as soon as she left court, she was arrested and charged with theft of service and criminal trespass; she had boarded the New York subway train and avoided payment by climbing through an emergency exit. According to the prosecutor, Barrientos allegedly told the officer who arrested her in the subway station, “Didn’t you see me on TV?” Barrientos swung at CBS2’s cameras as she exited the court on Friday.

Barrientos’s marriages stayed local; all took place in Westchester County, Long Island, New Jersey, or the Bronx. There was a time when she was simultaneously married to eight men, and she is still thought to be the wife of four men. Prosecutors said some of her husbands used their marriages to her to file for permanent residence status. The divorces that were filed occurred after the permanent residences applications had been successful.

Seven of the men she married came from what are termed “red-flagged” countries: Egypt, Turkey, Georgia, Pakistan, and Mali. Husband #8, “Rashid Rajput, was deported in 2006 to his native Pakistan after an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”

Barrientos could spend four years in prison.