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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    12

    Default MOB marriage turns into horror story

    AS POSTED ELSEWHERE

    The Russian bride scam

    As Gary Oldenkamp tells the story of being caught in a scam to bring a Russian woman to this country, he reveals strong feelings of betrayal.?Not only was I taken advantage of by the woman I hoped to spend the rest of my life with, but local officials decided to take her side, even after I gave them proof of what was happening.?

    Oldenkamp?s story of exploitation began innocently in 2002, when he decided to enroll in an online dating service.The Hull resident was 38 years-of-age at the time, divorced for one year and interested in dating again.He was contacted by a woman named Elana, who lived in Russia, was a year older than him, also divorced and she had a daughter.Elana worked as an English translator so language was not a barrier.

    The two corresponded for six months by email and phone before Oldenkamp flew to Moscow to meet her.

    ?Initially, I wasn?t interested in meeting women from other counties,? said Oldenkamp.?But as the relationship progressed I began to think of all the advantages.There wouldn?t be an ex-husband around to deal with and no in-law problems.I thought it was a situation I could control.Plus, I believed that Russian women were soft, docile and calm.Boy was I wrong.?

    According to the American University Trade and Environment database website, the majority of men who participate in services for Russian brides are white, educated, around 37 years old, and are ideologically conservative.These men are tired of ?career-obsessed women? and see Russian women as less materialistic and more appreciative of men.Russian women are seen as more feminine and more traditional.

    Oldenkamp spent a week in Moscow in January 2003, and before he left, asked Elana to marry him.

    ?She told me everything I wanted to hear.She was very charming, soft and pretty,? he said.?Spending time with her was fun, much better than the usual dating.She was everything I was looking for.And her daughter was very quiet and respectful.Looking back, she told me everything I wanted to hear.?

    Oldenkamp returned to Hull and began working on the paperwork to bring Elana and her 13 year-old daughter, Sasha, to the United States.She finally arrived in Hull in March of 2004 with a six month visa.

    They were married on March 20, 2004 in Oldenkamp?s home.Afterwards they traveled to Omaha so Elana and Sasha could begin the two-year process of getting a Green Card, or permanent residence in the United States.According to the U.S. Immigration Service, the process of completing and submitting a request for a Green Card through marriage to a U.S. citizen can be both costly and confusing.

    But Elana had a back-up plan.

    ?The first six months of the marriage went pretty well,? said Oldenkamp.?We agreed that she should take a year to settle in before she found a job.We disagreed when I wouldn?t hire a maid for her.?

    But then the relationship started to fray a little.Elana had a car and a driver?s license but demanded that Oldenkamp come home from work each morning to drive Sasha to school, which was only a few blocks away.?Elana just didn?t want to get out of bed to do it,? he explained.

    ?She also wanted to take big trips and a huge allowance for clothes.?

    The following March, when Elana had been in the country for one year, Oldenkamp reminded her of their agreement that she should find a job.While she refused to look for a job, instead she forgot Gary?s birthday and their first anniversary.?That hurt,? he recalled.

    In June Elana got a job at the Marshall Field?s store in Sioux Falls, but soon was tired of the long drive and asked Oldenkamp to pay for an apartment in Sioux Falls so she could live there during the week.

    ?I overlooked a lot during the first year,? he recalled.?But by then she had dropped the act of being the loving wife and I realized she had told me a lot of lies.She only wanted someone who could give her unlimited amounts of money.?

    ?I realized I?d made a big mistake and was already thinking about ending the marriage.?

    The couple?s arguments about money continued throughout the summer.

    On September 14, she again demanded an apartment in Sioux Falls and Oldenkamp told her to move, but he wasn?t going to help her.She claimed that he had promised her more money, and in a rage jumped on him and tried choking him.?She wasn?t really hurting me,? he said.But she was out of control, and my son from my first marriage was staying with me that evening and I was concerned for him.I tried to call 911, but she started hitting the phone out of my hands, kicking and scratching me.?

    Oldenkamp and his son finally got outside to the car, locked the doors and called for help.

    ?Then Elana came running outside screaming, help me,? he recalled.?I thought it was some kind of a joke, so I rolled down the window and told her she?d get more attention if she ran over to the Casey?s Store.And that?s what she did.?

    A Sioux County deputy first responded to Oldenkamp?s home and as he was talking to Gary, the deputy got a call about a woman calling for help from Casey?s.

    And then Oldenkamp?s nightmare began.Elana claimed that he had abused her.She had scratches on her neck, which he found out later Sasha had inflicted, so her mother would be ?more believable?.

    Oldenkamp and Elana both made statements to Deputy Oostra, but Elana didn?t mention any choking incident in her statement.Later Oldenkamp was charged with choking Elana and Oldenkamp was sure the deputy prompted her to make that accusation.

    ?I thought it was so obvious that she was making the whole thing up,? stated Oldenkamp.?Why would I call for help if I was abusing her?But the deputy said someone had to be arrested, so I spent the night in jail.?

    ?To understand this incident you have to know about the Violence Against Women Act of 1996,? said Oldenkamp.?There is a little piece in it that states if an immigrant is abused by her husband or other family member, and can prove the abuse, then they become admitted for permanent residence.Elana was going to get her green card with or without me.?

    Elana was taken to the Family Crisis Center and two days later she was taken to Des Moines to stay with a cousin, Alex, also a Russian immigrant.

    Two months later, Oldenkamp received a surprise call from Alex, who wanted to help him.

    ?Soon after arriving in Des Moines, Elana proudly confessed how easily she had convinced everyone of the abuse,? said Oldenkamp.?By this time she?d contacted the Iowa Coalition against sexual assault and abuse and claimed that he?d sexually abused her and verbally sexually abused Sasha.Her plan was to sue me for a large monetary settlement.Plus if she could get me on the assault charges, her green card was guaranteed.?

    The cousin also explained that Elana was looking for a rich, lavish lifestyle in the United States, but living in Hull with Gary wasn?t what she hoped for.

    Fortunately for Oldenkamp, Alex was having the same problems with Elana and Sasha.They wanted to be pampered but didn?t want to contribute anything to the household.

    According to Oldenkamp, Alex obtained a court order to kick Elana out of her home.Now she wanted to tell the truth about Elana.

    Back in Sioux County, Oldenkamp had been charged with serious sexual assault, which is a felony.

    But he and his lawyer began building the case of Elana?s deception.

    Alex also told Oldenkamp that Elana had left her diary in Hull and he needed to find it.The diary was written in Russian, which Oldenkamp had translated and described her plans to deceive him by any means possible to find the wealthy lifestyle she was looking for.

    His trial was set for May 9, 2006.?County Attorney Melissa O?Rourke told my lawyer that she set the date so far into the future because she hoped by then Elana would be on a plane back to Russia,? said Oldenkamp.?We showed her the evidence and I think she knew this charge had no merit but she didn?t want to back down.?

    Last January, Oldenkamp?s lawyer was offered a plea bargain from Sioux County.?They would drop the charge of abuse to a simple misdemeanor,? he said.?But I would still be saying I was guilty of abusing her, which was a lie.Plus, Elana would still get her green card and I?d have to spend six months in anger management classes.That really made me angry.?

    ?I think O?Rourke just wanted to look good to the voters in an election year,? he added.?My lawyer and I were certain we had enough evidence to win the case, so I turned down the plea bargain.I started thinking maybe the state should prosecute O?Rourke.?

    Coincidentally, Fox News was doing stories on immigrant bride scams near the time of Oldenkamp?s trial.He discovered a support group of men who?d gone through the same problems with their Russian brides.Someone from that network gave his name to Fox News and they contacted him about covering his abuse trial.

    Oldenkamp advised Fox News to contact the county about coverage.?The very next day my lawyer got a call from the attorney?s office saying they?d reduced the charge to interruption of a 911 call,? said Oldenkamp.?They just wanted to get rid of this case.?

    His lawyer explained that the charge was similar to a speeding ticket; Oldenkamp wouldn?t have to take anger management classes and Elana would not receive her green card.He advised Oldenkamp to plead guilty to the charge.

    So, two weeks ago he walked into the Sioux County courtroom and plead guilty.

    ?It was a lie,? he stated.?I didn?t interrupt any 911 call, but this whole incident has been about lies.?It started with a lie, was perpetuated by lies and ended with me telling a lie to make it go away.?

    ?I don?t feel like this county is my friend anymore.The sheriff?s department didn?t believe me.The Family Crisis Center wouldn?t even look at evidence of the scam and the county attorney?s office just played politics,? said Oldenkamp.?I?ve lived here my whole life, I go to work at a legitimate business, pay taxes and contribute to local causes.I keep wondering why they would treat me this way.?

    He said Elana is still in Des Moines trying to get her green card.?As far as Elana is concerned, I feel like a gullible, stupid sap.But I?d never hurt anyone.I do plan to submit evidence to the authorities to keep Elana from staying in the U.S. though.?

    The couple was divorced earlier this year.

    Oldenkamp shakes his head in disbelief when telling his account.?You couldn?t write a soap opera this good.?
    By Jeanne Visser
    for Sioux County Index

    ? 2006 Sioux County Index Hull, Iowa. All Rights Reserved.

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi ham2,

    this is not new that there are enough women who only go for money, make sex & "love" plays for money. I spent 2 weeks in Ukraine and came back last Thursday from Kiev. I speak Russian well. In Ukraine, a lady told me that 10-15 years ago women and girls there were looking for foreigners to leave the country ... but now this period would be over ... they look for rich guys, for money bringers, for rich investors ... because they do not like to learn other languages or leave the country or lose their friends and usual personal scenery around. So if you are a well-mannered rich business investor who stays in Ukraine for a longer time ... no problem to find your wife there in person of an elegant Ukrainian lady. If not, forget it!

    I travelled to Russia last January. There life has become easier for the population's majority in the last years of Putin's government. More purchase power! So women are not that stimulated and motivated to leave the country ... only a well rich foreigner has the chance to find fast some money oriented ladies who like his money ... .

    Goddiejens

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi ham2,

    this is not new that there are enough women who only go for money, make sex & "love" plays for money. I spent 2 weeks in Ukraine and came back last Thursday from Kiev. I speak Russian well. In Ukraine, a lady told me that 10-15 years ago women and girls there were looking for foreigners to leave the country ... but now this period would be over ... they look for rich guys, for money bringers, for rich investors ... because they do not like to learn other languages or leave the country or lose their friends and usual personal scenery around. So if you are a well-mannered rich business investor who stays in Ukraine for a longer time ... no problem to find your wife there in person of an elegant Ukrainian lady. If not, forget it!

    I travelled to Russia last January. There life has become easier for the population's majority in the last years of Putin's government. More purchase power! So women are not that stimulated and motivated to leave the country ... only a well rich foreigner has the chance to find fast some money oriented ladies who like his money ... .

    Goddiejens

  4. #4

    Default

    Here is the link to my travel report Ukraine with many pics:

    http://www.umdiewelt.de/Europa/Osteu...Kapitel-0.html

    Goddiejens

  5. #5

    Default

    Here is the link to my travel report Ukraine with many pics:

    http://www.umdiewelt.de/Europa/Osteu...Kapitel-0.html

    Goddiejens

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Hi there Goddiejens,

    Many thanks for posting the link to your webpage. Unfortunately I cannot read German, but the photos were an interesting visual account of your visit (yes-I remember well the arrival hall/queue for immigration formalities at Borispil).

    I have to say that when I was in the Ukraine as long as 18 months ago, I found things not so tough for people there, there was a kind of optimism and, although stuck with architectural mistakes from the past, the people (and women) I came across seemed prosperous and NOT financially & economically beaten, though NOT living to our standards in Western Europe, admittedly.

    So, obviously, [u]if not for a better life, why would a woman particularly choose to leave everything she knows: family, friends, job....etc?

    I've come to believe that this whole deal is a 'myth' based on the difficulties 15-20 years ago (at the breakup of the S.U.)and widely reported at the time, as YOU yourself commented; and that the women there aren't looking for 'an ordinary' guy. They're looking for someone with plenty of money who can also keep them in the life they've read about...in other words they just want to get their hands on your money (having said that, you don't need to travel to the Ukraine to find that kind of woman...they're EVERYWHERE).

    For instance, the 'lady' I went to see there was fairly shy with me, but less shy spending my money, she immediately developed a strong relationship with my wallet....TRULY! But anyway, you don't know unless you go and find out the hard way.

    Think you'll go back? Or did it cure you?!



    quote:Originally posted by Goddiejens

    Here is the link to my travel report Ukraine with many pics:

    http://www.umdiewelt.de/Europa/Osteu...Kapitel-0.html

    Goddiejens

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Hi there Goddiejens,

    Many thanks for posting the link to your webpage. Unfortunately I cannot read German, but the photos were an interesting visual account of your visit (yes-I remember well the arrival hall/queue for immigration formalities at Borispil).

    I have to say that when I was in the Ukraine as long as 18 months ago, I found things not so tough for people there, there was a kind of optimism and, although stuck with architectural mistakes from the past, the people (and women) I came across seemed prosperous and NOT financially & economically beaten, though NOT living to our standards in Western Europe, admittedly.

    So, obviously, [u]if not for a better life, why would a woman particularly choose to leave everything she knows: family, friends, job....etc?

    I've come to believe that this whole deal is a 'myth' based on the difficulties 15-20 years ago (at the breakup of the S.U.)and widely reported at the time, as YOU yourself commented; and that the women there aren't looking for 'an ordinary' guy. They're looking for someone with plenty of money who can also keep them in the life they've read about...in other words they just want to get their hands on your money (having said that, you don't need to travel to the Ukraine to find that kind of woman...they're EVERYWHERE).

    For instance, the 'lady' I went to see there was fairly shy with me, but less shy spending my money, she immediately developed a strong relationship with my wallet....TRULY! But anyway, you don't know unless you go and find out the hard way.

    Think you'll go back? Or did it cure you?!



    quote:Originally posted by Goddiejens

    Here is the link to my travel report Ukraine with many pics:

    http://www.umdiewelt.de/Europa/Osteu...Kapitel-0.html

    Goddiejens

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    623

    Default

    Hey guys! I've been away for a while, but having had a chance to read this last posting from Blue Horseshoe, I really think he's onto something. Food was the biggest expense I saw while in Lugansk. Aside from that, I didn't think things were so bad there, relatively speaking?

    Many girls I have corresponded with, speak of family homes in the country, or going to Crimea for a holiday as if it is common place!

    Perhaps their perception of life in the west, and our perception of life in the east have become a bit clouded by incomes, but not understanding expenses?



    Train returns

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    347

    Default

    ?I thought it was a situation I could control. Plus, I believed that Russian women were soft, docile and calm. Boy was I wrong.?

    Famous last words!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    381

    Default

    Hi Prometheus.

    As much as I find sweeping generalizations as something, which belongs to politicians and pushy extremist ideologers, I'm inclined to agree with your (quote):

    "Famous last words"

    ........being a VERY high probability for describing a hindsight-summary of a WM and FSUW relationship.

    When I 2-3 years ago finally divorced my polish (alcoholic and given-to-violence) wife, it didn't take her long time to start giving signals of my 'abuse' of her etc., when the economical arrangements were made.

    (Similar to the situation described in OP, I also had to call the police, but DID get through to them, resulting in HER being charged with threats etc).

    Fortunately european laws usually are more sensible on this point than the US versions, and I had myself covered legally quite well in any case, so my lawyer just shrugged it off as being a gambit on her part. But he told me, that such maneuvers are becoming more common.

    This is hardly news for those of us, who have been familiar with webdating for some years. But in the case of newbies recently arriving to webdating with little knowledge of its risks:

    BEWARE, and take whatever steps you take with care.

    Ofcourse not all ladies with webdating-interests are crooks, but amongst the FSUW (and I believe asian and african women) you can meet, the percentage of scam-risk is much, much higher than elsewhere in the romance-business elsewhere.

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