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Man pleads guilty to citizenship fraud scheme

Many Florida immigrants are married to U.S. citizens. In fact, there are certain types of visas that are issued for those wanting to enter the United States specifically to get married to fiancees who already possess valid citizenship by birth or naturalization. Not every immigrant marriage is valid, however.

Some immigrants have been swayed by others with fraudulent intentions to pay to have their applications for visas processed more swiftly. Others have been defrauded by people pretending to be sincere in their desires to wed when, in fact, they were being paid by a third party to enter false marriages. A man in another state recently pleaded guilty to such crimes.

Federal agents reportedly conducted a major sting to bring down the man's operation. They had received information that suggested the man was paying women in his area to pose as brides for immigrants seeking marriages to U.S. citizens. Investigators created a wedding venue and enlisted the help of several individuals to pose as an officiator, as well as willing spouses. The sting was an apparent success and led to several arrests and the scheme leader's guilty plea.

A Florida immigrant facing these or other immigration law problems can seek help by turning to an experienced immigration attorney. All immigrants should be aware that any time someone promises to expedite a citizenship or visa application for payment, it is a sign of possible fraud. Anyone facing current citizenship problems can request help from an appropriate immigrant advocate to rectify the situation.

Source: democratandchronicle.com, "Fake wedding sting used in immigration fraud case", Gary Craig, Oct. 16, 2017

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