Gabriela Rosa pleads guilty
Assemblymember Gabriela Rosa is set to submit a guilty plea to marriage fraud charges in Manhattan Federal Court on Fri., Jun. 27th.
Earlier reports stated that the Northern Manhattan Assemblymember would be appearing in federal court regarding “a matter of public corruption,” according to prosecutors.
Rosa, who was born in the Dominican Republic, is expected to plead guilty to charges that she committed marriage fraud to become a U.S. citizen.
Rosa moved to the United States in 1994; she has said she became a citizen in 2005.
In 2012, she won the 72nd Assembly District seat serving the Northern Manhattan and Marble Hill area.
She was the first Dominican woman to serve in the New York legislature.
At her swearing-in on Sun., Jan. 7th, 2013 at P.S. 48, Police Officer Michael Buczek School, she was accompanied by her husband, her mother and her son Victor.
“I dedicate this victory to my son,” she said, “and to every child, I would like to say that in this country, anything is possible.”
According to recently obtained court papers, Rosa married her husband in 1996 in order to gain permanent resident status.
The charges also point towards perjury in Rosa’s filing of bankruptcy in 2009, where she is said to have underreported her husband’s finances.
Sources say that a sentence of 12 and 18 months in prison is likely.
In a statement, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Assemblywoman Rosa was charged with, and pled guilty to, two federal felony charges arising from her efforts to obtain United States citizenship through fraud and fraudulently to conceal assets and income from a federal bankruptcy court.
Rosa pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office that requires her, among other things, to resign from office upon entry of her plea.
“Gabriela Rosa’s crimes cut to the heart of her legal qualification to serve the people of the State of New York as a New York State Assemblywoman,” said Bharara.
“She gained the ability to run for that office only as a result of a years-long immigration fraud, and then she compounded her lack of fitness to serve by defrauding a federal bankruptcy court.”
The report obtained from the U.S. Attorney’s office states that Rosa paid a United States citizen approximately $8,000 to enter into marriage to establish citizenship, while she maintained a relationship with another individual who later became her husband.
Regarding the charge of financial fraud, the report states that Rosa, who filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, knowingly and willfully made several false declarations and statements. Chief among those was the omittance of her ownership of a cooperative apartment in her filing, which required her to list all real or personal property in which she had any ownership interest.
In her plea allocution today before Judge Cote, Rosa admitted that she had entered into a sham marriage in an effort to obtain citizenship and had submitted a fraudulent petition to Bankruptcy Court.
Rosa also agreed, pursuant to the terms of her plea agreement, to the return of a campaign contribution unlawfully received from a representative of a foreign government.
Rosa currently faces a total statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. She also faces a term of up to three years’ supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.