Posted on May 13, 2019

$50K and a Fake Wedding Album: Sham Marriage Scheme Busted in Southwest Houston, DOJ Says

Doug Delony, KHOU-TV, May 13, 2019

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In all nearly 100 people have been charged in the Houston-based marriage fraud scheme, says U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along investigators.

The Department of Justice says organizers would charge $50,000 to $70,000 to arrange a fake marriage to someone in the United States, even providing a fake wedding photo album to help present the image of a valid marriage.

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The charges allege Ashley Yen Nguyen AKA Duyen, 53, headed the organization out of southwest Houston but had ties across Texas and Vietnam.

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β€œ{snip} The indictment alleges the marriages involved in this conspiracy were shams because the spouses did not live together and did not intend to do so, contrary to documents and statements they submitted to USCIS,” states the DOJ. β€œThe spouses only met briefly, usually immediately before they obtained their marriage license, or not at all, according to the charges. The spouses allegedly entered into the marriage pursuant to a financial arrangement for the primary purpose of circumventing U.S. immigration laws.”

Each person wishing to come to the U.S. would pay tens of thousands of dollars to obtain full lawful permanent resident status. The cost was prorated so they would pay more for each immigration benefit they obtained.

Duyen and others recruited U.S. citizens to act as petitioners in the sham marriages, according to the indictment. They also would receive a portion of the proceeds received from the beneficiary spouses coming to the U.S.

{snip} The indictment further alleges the criminal organization provided false tax, utility and employment information to help ensure USCIS would approve the false immigration forms.

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