Feds: Marriage between Hawaii soldier, Slovakian bodybuilder a sham

(Image: Emanuel Casas/Facebook)
(Image: Emanuel Casas/Facebook)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Federal immigration officials say the marriage of a Hawaii-based soldier and an award-winning, amateur female bodybuilder with an expired visa is a sham.

Nikoleta Perinova, 24, a citizen of Slovakia, was arrested last week for allegedly marrying the soldier, Emanuel Casas, to dodge immigration laws.

Court documents show say both admitted that the Oct. 7, 2015, marriage was a "fraudulent" one.

Perinova told a federal investigator, under oath, that the two never lived together, never had sex, and that she is in a romantic relationship with another person. The federal criminal complaint also shows that last month, Casas admitted that Perinova was a friend of a friend's girlfriend.

He reported that their first date was at the Cheesecake Factory and while there, she asked if they could get married to help her get a green card.

He also said that they never consummated the marriage.

In exchange for the union, he says Perinova explained that he would get money and additional military benefits.

Army public affairs official told Hawaii News Now that Casas, who is assigned to Schofield Barracks, has pleaded guilty in a military court martial proceeding. He was sentenced to hard labor for 14 days.

Perinova's next court hearing is scheduled for next month.

Attorney Gary Singh, who specializes in immigration law but is not associated with this case, said "sham" marriages make it more difficult for the clients he represents who are in legitimate relationships and deserve green cards.

Singh classifies the soldier's role in the "sham" marriage as fraud, and he also said that the marriage posed a security risk -- since Perinova had access to base.

"The benefits, they get health insurance, housing all of that, plus he's in the military he takes the oath to uphold the law and he's breaking the law," he said.

Perinova was originally in United States on a work visa.

"They come here legally and then they really want to stay, and the U.S. immigration laws are very tough," Singh said.

Perinova is out on bail, wearing a tracking monitor.

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