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Mexican actress gets 30 days in jail for marriage fraud

April 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Mexican soap opera actress accused of making false statements about her marriage so she could become a legal U.S. resident was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Fernanda Romero and her husband, Kent Ross, appeared in court and admitted their marriage was a sham so she could remain in the United States.

The couple pleaded guilty and faced up to five years in federal prison. But a judge on Monday sentenced them to 30 days in jail to be served on weekends. They also were each ordered to serve 1,000 hours of community service, as well as spend five years on supervised release.

Romero admitted she lied during her application for a green card.

Romero and Ross, a musician and manager of a local pizza restaurant, were arrested last year on suspicion of duping immigration officials about their marital status.

According to federal prosecutors, the couple married in 2005 but were living in separate homes and dating other people.

"I am sorry for what I did," a tearful Romero told U.S. District Judge Manuel Real.

Romero, who was born in Mexico, also is facing separate immigration charges.

Romero has appeared in television shows and movies, including "The Eye" alongside Jessica Alba in 2008.