Jefferson City money-for-marriage proposal results in charges filed

Jefferson City money-for-marriage proposal results in charges filed

A Ukranian woman has been charged with illegally attempting to get married to get U.S. citizenship according to court records.

The alleged scheme involved a Jefferson City man offering money to another man to marry the Ukrainian woman, federal court records said.

Court documents allege that Jefferson City lawyer James Barding offered Helias High School teacher and tennis coach Tim Dunville $36,000 to marry Dar'ya Chernova.

Chernova faces a federal charge of attempting to gain naturalization illegally.

This accusation comes from Dunville's former fiancee, who claimed that Barding, a married man, wanted to ensure that Chernova would be able to remain in the United States after her student visa expired.

Chernova attended Lincoln University on a tennis scholarship and later graduated from the University of Missouri. She has two children fathered by Barding.

Dunville and Chernova married on March 13, 2005. After the marriage, Dunville filed a Form I-130, formally advising the government of his marriage. The I-130 is a precursor to Chernova filing a Form I-45, requesting permanent residency.

Court documents say that when authorities learned of the alleged transaction in 2010, they called Chernova in for an interview. During that interview, Chernova lied to immigration officials, saying Dunville was the father of her second child.

Chernova pleaded not guilty on January 28 to attempting to falsely procure naturalization and lying to an immigration official.

Neither Barding nor Dunville has been charged with any crime.

Helias High School principal Didier Aur said Dunville resigned from his position at the school last week, citing personal reasons.