Matchmaker or Lawbreaker?

SSgt. Aleksandr Ilin, an airman assigned to the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., is facing a court martial for allegedly running a fraudulent Russian bride scam. The Arizona Daily Star reports that Ilin, 27, a native of Russia, is charged with one dozen counts of conspiracy, theft of government property, and criminal solicitation. Ilin pled not guilty to all the charges. During the trial, which began Monday, prosecutors alleged that Ilin recruited younger airmen to marry Russian women so that the women could get a green card and the airmen could enjoy the added benefits that USAF offers its married members, such as higher housing allowances. In return, Ilin would receive up to $2,000 in payoff money from the brides, according to the Daily Star report. His defense attorney argues that Ilin was “a matchmaker, not a lawbreaker.”