San Bernardino gunman's brother pleads guilty in marriage fraud case

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The brother of the San Bernardino gunman pleaded guilty in marriage fraud case discovered during the investigation of the terrorist attack.

The brother of San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud in a case stemming from the deadly shooting investigation, according to officials.

Federal officials indicted 31-year-old Syed Raheel Farook, 31-year-old Tatiana Farook and 26-year-old Mariya Chernykh back in April in a marriage fraud conspiracy.

Authorities said their investigation into the terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center pointed them to Enrique Marquez Jr., who is awaiting trial on charges of conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook to provide material support to terrorists.

Officials learned Marquez, a former neighbor of Syed Rizwan Farook, is married to Chernykh, who is the sister of Tatiana Farook and sister-in-law of Syed Raheel Farook.

According to investigators, Marquez received money to marry Chernykh, a Russian citizen, so she could receive immigration benefits. Though they were married, officials said Marquez and Chernykh didn't live together.

Authorities said Syed Raheel Farook and Tatiana Farook participated in the conspiracy by witnessing the wedding, taking staged family pictures and establishing a joint checking account for Marquez and Chernykh.

Syed Raheel Farook and Tatiana Farook also made a back-dated lease for Marquez and Chernykh to create the illusion that they shared a home with them in Corona, prosecutors alleged.

"This is not a crime of greed. This is certainly not a crime of violence," Ron Cordova, Syed Raheel Farook's attorney said on Tuesday. "What my client did was an act of love."

Syed Raheel Farook did not answer questions when he left the courthouse on Tuesday.

Under federal law, the maximum sentence Syed Raheel Farook could face is five years. He was scheduled to be back in court for sentencing on Nov. 13.

The cases against Tatiana Farook and Chernykh were still pending.

Related Topics:
san bernardino mass shootingimmigrationmarriageterrorismterror attackterror threatmass shootingshootingSan BernardinoSan Bernardino County
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