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JC Attorney Indicted in Marriage Scam

A Jefferson City attorney is now indicted in a federal case over a sham marriage.

James Barding, 60, appeared in federal court Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Prosecutors say he helped set up a sham wedding for 38-year-old Darya Chernova, a Ukranian national who went to Lincoln University and Mizzou on a student visa. Barding was apparently having an affair with Chernova at the time, and set up the marriage so she could apply for U.S. citizenship.

The two were also friends with 32-year-old Alex Druzenko, a Ukranian living in Jefferson City who now works in Missouri’s Office of Administration. Prosecutors say Barding and Chernova introduced him to a woman in El Paso, Texas, who he married only to gain citizenship.

Barding is also charged with making false statements and defrauding the federal government.

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