A United Nations translator was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday for his role in a visa fraud scheme that helped foreigners enter the United States illegally.
A Russian national who had been living in Greenwich, Conn., Vyacheslav Manokhin, pleaded guilty in March to using U.N. stationery and fraudulent documents to obtain visas illegally for travelers from Uzbekistan.
Prosecutors described Manokhin as a key accomplice in the scheme, hatched by a fellow translator, Vladimir Derevianko, who worked for a Manhattan lawyer.
One of the Uzbek travelers paid $15,000 for the pair's help getting the travel papers.
The visas were supposed to be for foreigners attending U.N. conferences in the U.S., but either the gatherings didn't exist, or the visa holders didn't attend them, prosecutors said. Manokhin pitched in by forging invitations to the conferences from a nonexistent U.N. official named Leonardo Brackett.
He has already spent 9 1/2 months in prison, so he is likely to remain in prison for only another two months. Manokhin's attorney, James Roth, said the translator and his family are likely to be deported to Russia upon his release.
Derevianko, a former KGB informant who was granted political asylum in the U.S. in 2004 after running afoul of organized crime figures and government officials in Ukraine, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced earlier this month to the nine months he had served following his arrest.