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The Drama Of Actress Fernanda Romero's Marriage Fraud

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Sentencing is expected today in case of 28-year-old Mexican-born actress Fernanda Romero who faces federal marriage-fraud charges that allege she entered into a sham marriage "with an American in 2005 to remain in the United States," reports the Daily News.

Prosecutors claim Romero, full name Maria Fernanda Romero Martinez, and her musician/pizza store manager friend Kent Ross were living in separate homes and dating other people. They are recommending probation for the 'couple' who admitted to making false statements.

The case hinged on whether Romero paid Ross to marry her in 2005 and then lied about the relationship to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services so she could obtain permanent resident status. A trial ended in a hung jury last September. Since then, Romero and Ross agreed to what prosecutors call a "package deal" in which both pleaded guilty to separate but similar charges to avoid a retrial.

Both face up to five years in prison, fines, and probation, however "Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Left said the government is not seeking jail time," reports the Daily News. Deportation is left to Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine.
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An ex-boyfriend of the actress, fashion photographer Markus Klinko, reportedly blew the first fraud whistle in an unrelated lawsuit.