The wife of a man accused of aiding the shooters in the San Bernardino terror attack pleaded guilty Thursday in an immigration fraud case and admitted that her marriage was a sham.
Mariyah Chernykh admitted that her marriage to Enrique Marquez Jr, the only person charged in connection with the 2015 terror attack, was a sham designed to enable her to obtain legal status in the US after overstaying a visitor visa in 2009, prosecutors said.
Marquez is accused of plotting with Syed Rizwan Farook to carry out attacks and with supplying guns used in the attack.
Chernykh pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy, perjury and other charges.
She admitted in court that she paid Marquez for his participation in the scheme and that she lied on immigration documents and to federal agents, prosecutors said.
Marquez confessed to the scheme when authorities questioned him about the shootings, and he acknowledged getting $200 a month to marry Chernykh, according to court documents.
US Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement Thursday that the guilty pleas were ‘further proof that law enforcement has doggedly investigated all leads stemming from the tragic attack in San Bernardino as we continue our efforts to bring justice to the community.’
Chernykh’s attorney, David Kaloyanides, refused to comment on the plea Thursday.
Prosecutors say she faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in November.