According to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 47-year-old Tina Tran has been sentenced to 37 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for coordinating an elaborate marriage fraud scheme.
When convicted, Tran had already spent time in state custody for involvement in credit card fraud and identity theft schemes. This latest scam acted as a means of getting illegal aliens into the country. Among the charges against her are fraud and misuse of visas, conspiracy, making false statements in passport applications, marriage fraud, and inducing aliens to enter the country illegally.
The scheme was elaborate and detailed, according to the report. Tran and her co-conspirators went to the trouble of fabricating wedding photos, love letters and joint tax returns, as well as coaching the “married” couples on how to behave at adjustment of status interviews. Authorities caught on when they noticed certain scammers filing for green cards for multiple spouses.
Run out of Orange County, California, the scam targeted mainly Chinese and Vietnamese nationals. The U.S. participants would often fly overseas for the fake marriage ceremonies.
The price tag for the services provided by Ms. Tran and her fellow frauders was as high as $60,000.