Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Central figure in wife scandal may have fled U.S.

Dariusz Stanley Baranski, the self-proclaimed ringleader of the Polish Navy wife scandal did not show up in federal court today. Attorneys believe he may have fled the country, possibly to Poland.

Baranski was scheduled to be sentenced for his part in an immigration scandal that included some enlisted men from Mayport Naval Station.

Some of the enlisted men from Mayport Naval Station took payments of up to $6,000 to arrange marriages mostly for Polish women looking for American husbands to enable them to stay in the United States and receive military benefits, court records show.

Another benefit: The sailors boosted their basic housing allowances from the Navy by claiming the women as dependents, though immigration officials say none of the couples lived together and most of the women left Jacksonville.