Remember anchor babies, that Trump-era conspiracy theory about how pregnant Mexican women were sneaking across the border to give birth so that their offspring could get automatic U.S. citizenship? Turns out somebody was indeed sneaking across the border to give birth, but she wasn’t Mexican—it was the mistress of a Russian billionaire oligarch, who had already popped out one baby at a certain unnamed Los Angeles hospital and was trying for a second.
According to a federal indictment filed in New York’s Southern District Court last fall, Oleg V. Deripaska, the 55-year-old Russian industrialist and close pal of Vladimir Putin, allegedly flew his pregnant girlfriend, Ekaterina Olegovna Voronina, to Los Angeles in July 2020 so that she could give birth to their son in L.A. and obtain a U.S. passport for him. The arrangement was facilitated, say the feds, by a female Russian fixer who, for a fee of $170,000, altered the baby’s birth certificate and “orchestrated hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth” of other services, including five nannies and a housekeeper while Ekaterina recuperated from childbirth in a Beverly Hills penthouse.
Two years later, in June 2022, Oleg and Ekaterina attempted to do it again; Voronina, pregnant for a second time, hopped on a private jet from Istanbul, along with her two-year-old son and his nanny, and flew to Los Angeles. This time, Deripaska had allegedly rented her a Beverly Hills mansion for her postpartum recovery. But federal agents got wind of the scheme and were waiting at the airport; Ekaterina was put on a jet, presumably back to Russia.
Deripaska, Voronina, and the fixer, identified as a naturalized U.S. citizen named Olga Shriki, have been charged with four counts, including making false statements.
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