March 5, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A Rego Park woman who ran a non profit music award organization pleaded guilty on Monday to having helped bring Armenian nationals into the U.S. by falsely claiming they were musicians eligible for visas.
Stella Boyadjian, 48, ran Big Apple Music Awards Foundation Inc. whose mission is “to recognize excellence and create a greater public awareness of the cultural diversity of Central Asian, Caucasian and Middle Eastern recording artists,” according to its Facebook page.
Boyadjian, along with a group of conspirators, charged Armenian nationals fees of up to $10,000 to prepare and file fake P-3 visas for them to enter and stay in the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Boyadjian falsely told United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the nationals were members of a traditional Armenian performance group and therefore qualified for the visas as “culturally unique” entertainers.
The Brooklyn federal attorney also said that Boyadjian, between 2013 and 2014, purchased fake documents to back the visa applications, like fake dance certificates and staged photos of the Armenian immigrants in costume to appear to be folk dancers.
Some of the nationals, who made it successfully into the U.S., paid additional fees to Boyadjian and the conspirators in order to extend their stay.
Boyadjian pled guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to conspiracy to bring aliens unlawfully into the United States, visa fraud, and aggravated identity theft, and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.