Mexican-Born Actress Sentenced In ‘Sham’ Marriage Case
LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A Mexican-born actress accused of entering a sham marriage to remain in the United States has been sentenced to 15 consecutive weekends in jail and five years on supervised release, after admitting she lied during an immigration proceeding.
Fernanda Romero and her husband, Kent Ross, were charged one year ago with marriage fraud and making false statements during Romero’s application for a “green card.”
The actress has had bit roles in U.S. films such as “Drag Me To Hell,” but is perhaps best known for appearing in the Mexican soap opera “Eternamente Tuya.”
Romero and Stuart’s lives for the past year have played out like a soap or telenova, with federal agents arresting them last April on suspicion of entering a sham marriage.
Several former acquaintances testified against the pair at a trial last summer, but the couple have maintained they love each other but their marriage fell apart partially because their courtship was so quick.
Federal prosecutors presented evidence that the couple didn’t live together as they stated on immigration forms, dated other people and essentially lived separate lives.
In a court filing in advance of Romero’s sentencing, a prosecutor said Romero apparently lied when she testified in her own defense at trial.
But ultimately the charges the pair are admitting guilt to are minor. Romero admitted lying when she wrote that Ross and her mother “hung out all the time.” Ross, a musician and restaurant worker, admitted he lied when he said he and Romero lived together.
Michael Nasatir, Romero’s attorney, wrote in a filing that the actress is heavily involved in several charities, including working with children afflicted with AIDS.
“Ms. Romero has no prior criminal history and the instant offense was a never-to-be-repeated event for which she is truly remorseful,” Nasatir wrote.
U.S. District Judge Manuel Real is scheduled to sentence the pair at a hearing Monday afternoon.
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