A Mexican actress based in Westwood who was accused of paying a man to marry her for immigration purposes pleaded not guilty in the case Monday, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office told the Weekly. Fernanda Romero and husband Kent Ross of Park La Brea both entered not guilty pleas in federal court downtown.
The U.S. Attorney's Office alleges that Romero paid Ross to marry her in 2005 so that should obtain a United States green card and ostensibly move her Mexican film career stateside. A jilted ex-boyfriend, fashion photographer Markus Klinko, turned her in after they broke up.
Federal authorities contend that Romero and Ross never lived together; that she moved in with Klinko instead. The actress and her husband each face as much as five years behind bars if they're convicted.
Sentencing for the pair has been set for June 15, said U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek.