A Houston woman has admitted to the international marriage fraud schemes prosecuted against her.
Ashley Yen Nguyen, 55, was identified in May 2019 as the genius behind the scheme to create “sham marriages in order to illegally obtain immigration status.”
According to ABC 13– Houston, quoting the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nguyen confessed, “as part of her plea to conspiring to engage in marriage fraud, mail fraud, immigration fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in a tax return.”
Nguyen’s family is allegedly “at the heart” of the scam. In total, nearly 100 people were charged in the scam, but a federal grand jury indicted only 96 people.
At least 40 immigrant couples were involved and were charged up to $70,000 for fake wedding documents so that they could “obtain legal residence status in the US.”
“The spouses would also pay an additional amount for each immigration benefit they received, such as admission into the United States, conditional permanent resident status and full lawful permanent resident status,” ABC 13– Houston reported.
Nguyen faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“These arrests mark the culmination of a comprehensive year-long multi-agency investigation into one of the largest alleged marriage fraud conspiracies ever documented in the Houston area,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.