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Tag: sham marriage

Feds Charge Seattle Thai Restaurant Chain Owner With Sham Marriages

Sure love is blind. But federal authorities aren’t. And they say some folks here were ordering up sham marriages.

seattle-map1

By GENE JOHNSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer
SEATTLE
— The owner of a Seattle area chain of Thai restaurants pleaded not guilty Tuesday to paying four of her workers to enter into sham marriages allowing three of her relatives and another Thai national to stay in the U.S.

Varee Bradford, who operates five Thai Ginger restaurants, was arrested Tuesday on one count of immigration fraud conspiracy and three counts of immigration document fraud. She was released on her own recognizance after entering her plea in U.S. District Court.

A grand jury indictment says three workers were paid $10,000 to more than $20,000. Another, who had been promoted to management, was loaned $3,780. The three men and one woman allegedly were told the marriages would only have to last two years, until their spouses received green cards.

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Chinese Women Made It Into FBI Academy Before Getting Busted For a Sham Marriage to Get Citizenship

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A 26-year-old Chinese woman made it into the FBI academy to train as an agent before authorities busted her for entering into a sham marriage to obtain U.S. citizenship.
Yue Cheng of Williamsburg, Va. pleaded guilty last week in Norfolk, Va., to naturalization fraud and false claims. She faces up to 26 months in prison at her April 19 sentencing.
According to authorities, Cheng entered the U.S. in 1999 to attend college. Two years later, at age 19, she married a 57-year-old California man in Las Vegas to obtain citizenship, according to an FBI affidavit. She then joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Norfolk. She collected extra pay because of her marriage.
On Sept. 28, 2004, she became a naturalized citizen, authorities said.
In March 2007, she applied to the FBI in Norfolk to become a special agent and in September she reported to the FBI Academy for training,  the affidavit said.
Earlier this year, while in special training at the FBI academy in Quantico, “she admitted to entering into a fraudulent marriage for the purpose of obtaining United States citizenship.”
During an interview with two FBI agents, Cheng told agents that she first suspected there would be a financial obligation to her sham husband, but that she suspected he ultimately “benefitied from the marriage through sexual favors”, the affidavit said.
She told agents that “her intent was to create better educational and career opportunities in the United States rather than to cause harm to the United States or help the Chinese government.”
Read FBI Affidavit