Photo: Gabriela Rosa
Dominican-born New York State Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa pled guilty to committing fraud by arranging marriage to obtain U.S. citizenship and of making a false statement to a bankruptcy court, judicial sources said.
Gabriela Rosa, 47, the first Dominican woman to hold a seat in the New York State Assembly, admitted before a federal judge that she was guilty of the two charges against her in a plea agreement that requires her to resign from office.
In the sentencing set for Oct. 3, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for both crimes, but could see her sentence reduced to between a year and 18 months upon her commitment not to commit further offenses.
“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. 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,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
“Now she faces losing her position and prison time for her actions,” he said.
Rosa admitted before the judge that she paid a U.S. citizen $8,000 to marry her in 1996 so she could obtain permanent residency, and divorced him three years later - all the while maintaining a relationship with the man who would be her second husband.
She also declared herself guilty Saturday of fraud for lying to a federal bankruptcy court.
In September 2009 she went to the court to liquidate debts of more than $30,000 accumulated on credit cards and through personal loans, but failed to mention either the Manhattan apartment she owned, the extra income she obtained as a political consultant, or her husband’s income.