A federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging David Nikolashvili, 51, a citizen of the Republic of Georgia residing in Stamford, with various offenses stemming from an alleged immigration fraud scheme.
According to statements made in court, it alleged that Nikolashvili operated an immigration fraud scheme through which he obtained false immigration status from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services for approximately 50 to 60 citizens of European countries.
As part of the scheme, after aliens paid Nikolashvili thousands of dollars, he would arrange sham marriages between the aliens and U.S. citizens in order to obtain immigration benefits for the aliens. The U.S. citizens were paid to enter into the sham marriages.
On November 3, 2015, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Nikolashvili with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and to commit document fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and six counts of making a false swearing in an immigration matter, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.
Nikolashvili was arrested on June 21, 2016. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was released on a $75,000 bond.
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, who announced the indictment on Friday, stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This ongoing investigation is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Office of Fraud Detection and National Security Unit, and U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.