Crime - Sacto 911

Longtime Social Security Administration employee sentenced in immigration fraud conspiracy

A longtime Social Security Administration employee has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for her participation in an immigration fraud conspiracy.

Nelli Kesoyan, 46, of Rancho Cordova was sentenced Friday in federal court in Sacramento for conspiring to make false statements in a matter related to naturalization and citizenship and to obstruct, impede, or influence a pending agency proceeding, and for falsifying government records, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office news release. She was convicted in January following a four-day jury trial.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. also sentenced Kesoyan's co-defendant, Vanik Movsesyan, 61, of Burbank to 21 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Kesoyan's husband, Grigor Kesoyan, previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced to time served, the news release said.

Evidence was presented during Kesoyan's trial that she had abused her position as a claims representative with the Social Security Administration in Sacramento by creating false documents and falsifying government records in an attempt to help Movsesyan commit fraud in two naturalization applications. Kesoyan also served as Movesesyan's translator during two naturalization interviews and assisted him in making false sworn statements during those interviews, the news release said.

When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began to investigate the false statements, Kesoyan and Movsesyan produced more false documents and encouraged other people to lie to immigration officials in a effort to obstruct the investigation, according to the news release.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Social Security Administration's office of Inspector General, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.