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Stella Boyadjian Sentenced to Two Years for Smuggling Armenians into U.S. via Visa Fraud Scheme


Stella Boyadjian Sentenced to Two Years for Smuggling Armenians into U.S. via Visa Fraud Scheme

Stella Boyadjian, a resident of New York, has been sentenced to two years and one month for her involvement in a multi-year conspiracy involving visa fraud, identity theft, and immigrant smuggling. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that the scheme aimed to bring citizens of Armenia into the United States under false pretenses for financial gain.


According to the DOJ, Armenians were fraudulently portrayed as members of performance groups to qualify for P-3 "Culturally Unique Artist" visas. The P-3 visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily travel to the U.S. for artistic or entertainment purposes, provided the program is culturally unique.


Boyadjian, who operated a non-profit organization, charged Armenian citizens between $3,000 and $15,000 for the P-3 visas. The scheme involved obtaining fraudulent performer certificates, staging photo sessions with individuals dressed in Armenian folk outfits, and providing training on how to respond to questions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services visa adjudicators.


In February 2018, Boyadjian, along with Hrachya Atoyan of Glendale, California, and Diana Grigoryan of the Republic of Armenia, faced a 15-count indictment for visa fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, commit visa fraud, and illegally bring aliens into the country. Money laundering charges were also filed against Boyadjian and Grigoryan, with Boyadjian additionally facing aggravated identity theft charges.

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