Mexican actress gets jail time in immigration, marriage case [Updated]
A federal judge has sentenced a Mexican actress and her husband after they admitted making false statement so she could enter the United States.
Actress Fernanda Romero and her husband, Kent Ross, were sentenced to spend 15 weekends in jail.
Romero has appeared in various films, including the 2008 supernatural thriller “The Eye,” as well as in print and television advertising campaigns, according to an affidavit filed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
According to the affidavit, a witness told authorities that Romero paid $5,000 to Ross, a musician and former pizza delivery man, to participate in a bogus marriage. Foreign spouses of U.S. citizens are eligible for legal residency status, work permits and eventually citizenship.
Authorities said Romero and Ross filed several documents containing false statements, such as claims that they lived at the same address. According to prosecutors, Romero also filed documents allegedly containing false statements as to how long she had resided in the United States.
The federal investigation began after Romero’s ex-boyfriend, Markus Klinko, a fashion photographer, alerted immigration authorities to the alleged scam, the affidavit stated.
"I am sorry for what I did,'' Romero was quoted by City News Service as saying in court Monday when she was sentenced.
[Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the couple pleaded guilty to marriage fraud. Ross' attorney, Michael Shannon, said they pleaded guilty to making false statements. An earlier trial on the marriage fraud charges resulted in a hung jury.]
-- Shelby Grad
Photo: Actress Fernanda Romero. Credit: Associated Press