WRAL Investigates

Brothers accused in Russian brides case must stay in jail

Posted October 13, 2009

— Two brothers accused of arranging marriages between Russian women and Fort Bragg soldiers must stay in jail while they await their trial scheduled for January, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Senior U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan said Alexander "Sasha" Manin and Pavel "Pasha" Manin pose a serious flight risk, especially since Pavel Manin had an overseas flight booked on the day federal immigration agents arrested him.

"The risk of flight here is compelling," Flanagan said. "This is very serious criminal conduct."

Svetlana Kaloshina and Tatyana Urazova (courtesy of MySpace) Brothers in Russian brides case must stay in jail

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bowler said the brothers had multiple overseas contacts and cash flow that could help them flee the country if they wanted.

Attorneys for the Manin brothers argued that their clients, who are Russian immigrants, love the U.S., served in the U.S. military and would not leave the country.

Federal immigration agents said the brothers devised a complicated web of fraudulent marriages between Russian women and Fort Bragg soldiers so the women could obtain U.S. citizenship.

The benefit for the soldiers, agents said, is that they could move off post and get extra money in their paychecks for being married.

The brothers collected fees of $3,000 to $5,000 from the women for arranging the marriages, according to an indictment.

The brothers themselves were also involved in fraudulent marriages and were able to become naturalized citizens after marrying American women, prosecutors said. A woman who married Alexander Manin told agents that she is a lesbian and was just trying to help her friend get citizenship.

A rigged marriage is a significant crime, according to immigration officials, especially when it deals with soldiers and the potential for a threat to national security.

“We would take a similar look at nuclear power plants, airports – where they staff employees in those critical areas. We have to take a look. We can’t be wrong,” said Tom O’Connell, an agent in charge at the Raleigh office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

While there's no evidence that the women were after national secrets, the Army is out some cash.

Extra pay and benefits for four soldiers who are accused of marrying Russian women, plus the Manin brothers' marriages, amounted to at least $200,000 over several years, according to prosecutors.


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  • whatusay Oct 14, 2009

    Can't believe they are in jail and 15 million illegals are in the U.S., and collecting welfare, and not in jail.

  • 6079 SMITH W Oct 13, 2009

    HOLLYLAMA: This number was provided for those among us who know about some slimeball who is employing illegal immigrants, and would like to report them...BE SURE of your information first, yes absolutely!

  • james27613 Oct 13, 2009

    Many, many women from the former soviet regions are all educated, bilingual and ready to enter the workforce.

  • Tired Of Excuses Oct 13, 2009

    This something new??
    Please, I can't tell you how situations I heard of where the married are divorced in every way but on paper solely for the reason of getting that extra paper from Uncle Sam. The government makes it so easy and all but encourages it by giving extra $ when a military member is married. The continue to give money even if the spouse has a full time job with insurance benefits.
    Yep, that's the government for ya!

  • THE ETERNAL Oct 13, 2009

    How many men can say that they had a beautiful Russian lady.

  • james27613 Oct 13, 2009

    Those soldiers could have saved big money by finding their
    own Russian ladies on the internet without any help from those
    two brothers who are in jail.

    Security issues, don't think so, the soldiers were not
    high level officers etc.

  • hollylama Oct 13, 2009

    "Call 1-866-347-2423 to report suspicious or gang activity by illegal immigrants or to report employers who hire illegal immigrants. They are in violation of Federal immigration law."
    Are we supposed to approach them and ask them about their status first or just report away...?

  • hollylama Oct 13, 2009

    Love it!! I'm going to name my dogs Sashs and Pasha

  • OhYea Oct 13, 2009

    Cold war paranoia. We have many Hispanic illegals serving in the armed services.

  • kingmb08 Oct 13, 2009

    At least the Russian chicks are hot. I know I would not want to live on base. When I was in the Navy, I moved off base as quick as possible. THink of it as a pay raise. At least they are working. We pay people to stay home and do nothing.