False Claims to Homosexuality for Immigration Purposes Pop Up Twice in Two Weeks in N.Y.’s Federal Courts

By David North on June 7, 2023

For centuries homosexuals have tried to pass as straight, often successfully, but the very opposite move has been thwarted twice in New York’s federal courts in a two-week period.

Both of these cases involved multiple attempts by the accused of trying to help straight people from Ukraine and Russia to appear as homosexuals for immigration purposes, so that they could claim asylum status in this country.

In the first (May 19) case, a Law360 article states that a Russian citizen, Yura Mosha, with a long record of anti-Putin activities, may be in danger of deportation (back to Russia) because the U.S. government says he is a crook, and he has pleaded guilty to involvement in an asylum fraud scheme in which he aided aliens to get legal status here. (He subsequently changed his plea.) He is involved in a case in which, according to that article:

another co-defendant instructed a purported [heterosexual male] client on how to dress and pluck his eyebrows to support a claim that he would face persecution in Ukraine for being a gay man.

This was before the current invasion of that country by Russia.

Mosha once ran a company called Russian America, which “primarily assisted Russians in obtaining legal status in the U.S. by fraudulent means”. Among other things, he and his colleagues hired ghost writers to write anti-Russian copy for clients even though they did not share anti-regime views.

His lawyers are arguing for a sentence of less than a year, so that he can avoid deportation.

All of this reminds me of the case of the 1930's mobster “Lucky” Luciano, who was released from a federal penitentiary after WWII because of his work with the Mafia on behalf of the Allies during the invasion of Italy.

Does Mosha deserve a similar break? That’s going to be a tough decision for one Southern District judge.

Meanwhile, 12 days later, a similar case came before another judge in the same district but without the complication of potential deportation as the malefactors are naturalized citizens.

In this instance, again according to Law360, the culprits, a wife (attorney Ilona Dzhamgarova) and a husband (Arthur Arcadian, another lawyer), were sentenced to two years in jail and six months, respectively, as she had been more active in immigration fraud than he was.

Both had, to a different extent “coached clients to portray themselves as gay to win asylum in the U.S. by claiming they faced prosecution in countries of the former Soviet Union”. Both had pleaded guilty, and their jail terms will be staggered so that their two children will not be without a parent at home.

The judge — bear in mind she is sitting in ultra-liberal Manhattan — apparently is not gung-ho about enforcing the immigration law, which she regards as “broken”. She said the conduct of the two “made the system more clogged for ‘vulnerable and legitimate’ applicants”.

Maybe that’s a useful line for prosecutors working with liberal judges.

For reports on earlier instances of this phenomenon in the Netherlands, see here; and in the States, with both reports being about Ugandans, see here.