A U.S. federal grand jury in Houston, Texas issued a 206 count indictment involving a massive marriage fraud scheme on April 30, 2019.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a total of 96 individuals were involved in a suspected criminal enterprise designed to create sham marriages between individuals in Texas and Vietnam. The scheme allegedly led by Ashley Yen Nguyen, also known as Duyen of Houston purported the following:
- Duyen received $50,000- $70,000 from Vietnamese individuals marrying U.S. citizens.
- Agreements were prorated with suspects paying an additional amount for each immigration benefit received.
- Duyen and other suspects allegedly recruited U.S. citizens to engage in sham marriages as petitioners who received a portion of the proceeds from Vietnamese spouses.
“Marriage fraud is a serious crime,” commented USCIS Houston District Director Tony Bryson. “The indictment reveals how successful our relationships are with our law enforcement and intelligence partners when it comes to investigating marriage fraud.”
Director Byson continued noting that people enter into sham marriages to work around U.S. immigration laws.