11 California residents charged with arranging sham marriages to get green cards

BOSTON — Eleven people were indicted Thursday for allegedly arranging sham marriages and submitting fraudulent green card applications to circumvent immigration laws, Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins announced.

Rollins said the defendants, who live in California, were indicted on conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and immigration document fraud in connection with operating a large-scale marriage fraud “agency” in Los Angeles. Eight of them were arrested in California and scheduled to appear Thursday in federal court there, then appear in Boston at a later date, Rollins added.

Foreign national clients and citizen spouses pose for photos in weddings the feds say are shams designed exclusively to manipulate immigration law and acquire green cards for cash. (Federal court filing)

Rollins said the charges stem from hundreds of sham marriages that were arranged between foreign national “clients” and US citizens from 2016 until last month. One of the clients lived in Massachusetts.

The agency allegedly prepared and submitted false petitions, applications and other documents to substantiate the sham marriages and secure adjustment of fee clients’ immigration statuses for a of $20,000 to $30,000, Rollins added.

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