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Woman gets 10-month imprisonment for visa fraud

5 months will be under home confinement

Evengelyn Eudora Conrad Jones, a woman who entered a guilty plea to the charge of visa fraud, was slapped with a 10-month prison term in federal court.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered that five months out of the 10 months imprisonment should be served under home confinement.

Jones, 33, was given credit for the time she already served in prison. As of last June 12, she has been in custody for 139 days already, according to court records.

Jones was required to pay a $100 special assessment fee and perform 100 hours of community work service, which shall be suspended if she is employed.

Assistant U.S. attorney Ross Naughton recommended a sentence of 10 months imprisonment. Defendant’s counsel, David Banes, recommended a sentence of time served with the remainder in home detention or confinement.

Banes noted that it’s the defendant’s first criminal conviction, she is a single mother with minor children, the crime she admitted to was of a non-violent nature, and did not involve drugs.

Naughton cited aggravating features of the offense conduct, such as its impact on other persons involved, and defendant’s conduct on pre-trial release.

Under the plea deal, Jones agreed to forfeit to the U.S. government her interest to $540—representing the sum of money equal to the proceeds obtained from the commission of the offense.

The U.S. government agreed not to prosecute Jones over her failure to appear at the hearing.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on Sept. 16, 2010, in the Form I-130 Jones represented under penalty of perjury that an individual who is known to her and who has the initials K.Y.O. was her “husband/wife”—a representation that she knew was false because while she had previously been married to K.Y.O. she had divorced him in 2006.

Jones’ representation had a natural tendency to influence, or was capable of influencing, the decisions or activities of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to the plea deal.

Form I-130 refers to a U.S. citizen’s petition for an alien relative.

U.S. Deputy Marshal Don Hall served last Jan. 29 to Jones an arrest warrant that Manglona issued on Jan. 20.

Manglona issued the arrest warrant after Jones did not show up at the revocation hearing.

Jones was first arrested on an indictment charging her with one count of visa fraud and was released last Nov. 24 on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

U.S. Probation officer Gregory Arriola then filed a petition for revocation of defendant’s pre-trial release after she failed to appear for random drug tests on Dec. 16, 18, 20, and 30, 2014.

At the Jan. 20 revocation hearing, Jones did not show up in court.

This prompted Manglona to order the arrest of Jones.

At the revocation hearing last Feb. 3, Jones admitted to the violations alleged in the petition to revoke the pretrial release.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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