WILMINGTON, N.C. — Sgt. Jason Hawk and his bride met for the first time when he picked her up at a bus stop near his Army base a day before their wedding. Prosecutors say the speedy romance was echoed by a fast honeymoon: Ayna Ivanova returned to New York soon after.
Two other paratroopers who served with Hawk and three women now each face up to five years in federal prison when sentenced for their roles in what authorities say was a marriage scheme that aimed to garner U.S. citizenship for Russian brides and coveted housing allowances for junior enlisted men. Prosecutors said the marriages cost the government at least $200,000 in wages and benefits.