A New York City woman was arrested and arraigned on fraud charges after she allegedly married 10 men without ever getting divorced. The Bronx woman pleaded not guilty in court on 10 April, NBC New York reported.
Liana Barrientos was arraigned in a Bronx court after being charged with offering a false instrument while obtaining marriage certificates between 1999 and 2010. According to NBC New York, the criminal complaint filed against her alleges Barrientos never filed for divorce from any of her previous husbands.
The complaint goes on to allege that the woman obtained her marriage licenses in different towns each time, primarily in Westchester County and on Long Island. The Long Island Press reported that she married the two Long Island men in Hempstead and Huntington.
According to the Long Island Press, 2002 was found to be the busiest year in the serial bride's marriage spree. Barrientos filed six different marriage licenses in her name that year, the complaint alleged.
ABC7 reported that police believe Barrientos married the men to get them into the country. Seven of the 10 men are from "red-flagged" countries, including Egypt, Turkey, Georgia, Pakistan and Mali.
National security expect Manny Gomez told ABC7 just how seriously the case should be taken. "This is a huge breach in security. If someone could remarry 10 times without brining it to the attention of the authorities, potentially an al-Qaeda plant could come in, marry this woman and be in this country illegally, plotting, recruiting, perhaps even executing a terrorist attack," Gomez said.
Barrientos was arrested following an investigation into her last marriage in 2010, NY1 reported. The 2010 marriage license was filed in the Bronx County Clerk's office and allegedly stated Barrientos had never been married. If convicted, she could face up to four years in prison.