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Terrorist’s sister-in-law sentenced in sham marriage scheme

February 6, 2021 GMT

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The sister-in-law of a terrorist who carried out a 2015 Southern California attack that took 14 lives was sentenced to three years of probation Friday for her role in arranging a fraudulent marriage.

Tatiana Farook of Corona was sentenced in federal court, four years after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud.

Her husband, Syed Raheel Farook, received the same sentence last November for conspiring to help his wife’s Russian-born sister remain in the United States after overstaying her visa.

A family friend, Enrique Marquez Jr., was paid $200 a month to marry Mariya Chernkh, who continued to live with her boyfriend. The marriage allowed her to apply for permanent residence.

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Authorities said Raheel and Tatiana Farook witnessed the 2014 wedding and helped maintain the fiction of the marriage.

The crime was discovered during the investigation into the Dec. 2, 2015 attack in San Bernardino by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who shot and killed 14 people and wounded about two dozen others before dying in a gun battle with authorities.

Farook was Raheel Farook’s younger brother.

Last fall, Marquez was sentenced to 20 years in prison for buying two rifles that were used in the attack. Marquez had pleaded guilty in 2017 to conspiring with Farook to provide material support to terrorists and making false statements regarding the rifles he had purchased in his name using Farook’s money.