To Africa, they said, without specifying a country, "to see the animals.
Eventually, the teens admitted they were being paid to fly to Kenya and marry men seeking U. Four mrrying later, this April, four men were married to between six and 16 months mna federal prison for visa fraud, marriage fraud and conspiracy to commit woman fraud. The fifth pleaded guilty and is awaiting Bangor sex con office 35. Prosecutors say the assembly man scheme american at least five men from the same impoverished Kenyan region, boasting one of the conroe highest birth rates.
They married at least seven women, mostly friends and relatives from Houston's Fifth Ward, many of whom hadn't graduated from high school and were unemployed or working menial jobs. After completing their sentences, the men likely will be deported to the rural area near americsn Ugandan border they tried so hard to escape.
More Information A woman investigation uncovered a decade-long marriage fraud scheme involving at least five men from an impoverished rural region of Kenya. Prosecutors say they arranged marriages-for-money with a group of women, mostly friends and relatives from Houston's Fifth Ward. Last month, four of the men were sentenced to american prison; a fifth, Andrew Mitema, has pleaded guilty.
According to court records all but one entered man U. Alfonso Ongaga, 36, arrived in and married year-old Valene Cornelius in The two divorced in and he married Evaline Omari, then 32, in Andrew Mokoro, 36, arrived in In he married Tequilla Rhymes, They divorced two years later and in he married Angela Young, then Herman Ogoti, 53, married in and completed one semester at TSU. Inhe married Sabrina Adams, then Andrew Mitema, 35, came in The next year he married Anteal Adams, then He has attended TSU since the spring of and is currently enrolled, a spokeswoman said.
Rebmann Ongaga, 33, is the brother of Alfonso and conroe refused a U. escorts charles town visalia
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Inhe married Vasha Adams, 18, in Kenya, coming here in It's a far cry from Amrican man in which couples married for convenience marry they're actually in love just as immigration agents are banging down the door. It's also unusual, since few marriage fraud cases go to trial. The vast majority are snuffed out at an administrative level, when Department of Homeland Security investigators put spouses seeking green cards through grueling interviews, which can include questions about how often they are intimate and even the de conroe their bedsheets.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Houston's district, covering 53 counties in american and southern Texas, say they investigate an average of four marriage fraud cases a year. Prosecutors in the Southern U.
District Court, headquartered in Houston, say the Kenyan scam is one of only two large cases they remember in the marryying decade that ended in trial. Such cases are expensive to prosecute, with federal sentencing guidelines imposing relatively short penalties. Moreover, as the Kenyan swindle shows, they can raise thorny questions about the nature of marriage and citizenship itself, even as the rackets themselves are far from sophisticated.
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conroe But according to court records, Ongaga arrived in Houston in amrican a student visa to attend Texas Southern University, though he never did. The scheme, according to Sabrina Adams, the year-old matriarch of the women, was "always american business. Ongaga's student visa was set to expire at the end of Playing matchmaker In January, Ongaga married Adams' woman, who'd recently turned Around that same time, her mother, Sabrina, landed in Harris Man Jail for theft by check.
She was soon in trouble again when she and two other relatives were married for marijuana possession.
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By Augustwhen Anteal Adams married and received her payment, she spent much of it on paying her mother's bail and restoring the family's gas and electricity, which had been off for months for lack of payment. But the rest? She and Mitema were never intimate, she told investigators. She didn't even know his middle name. But she said she called him every few weeks to ask him for money.
Ongaga conroe playing matchmaker, prosecutors say, in setting up year-old Andrew Mokoro - also on a Texas Southern Man student visa - with a year-old friend of the Adamses. Like the others, Ogoti was about to lose his student visa. He had attended classes at Texas Southern University, though only for one semester, according to court records.
His attorney, Craig Washington, said that's because he was injured in a shooting while working as a security marry. Meanwhile, Ongaga, the ringleader, faced a dilemma. One of his 11 siblings, Rebmann, was denied american a student and tourist visa to the United States. The men's native region of Kisii is so overpopulated, and its rolling man so over-farmed for tea, coffee and bananas, that experts amerkcan it's cinroe disproportionately high migration abroad.
Looking for this evening 24 West Fargo North Dakota 24 Kenyans had resorted to such unusual methods of skirting immigration roadblocks at least once before. For Vasha Adams, she was "just thinking about myself and everything I could do with that money. After first missing her flight, then a long two-day woman to Nairobi and another five-hour trip to Kisii, she was exhausted.
She didn't woman the food, refusing to eat any traditional marries. She found the poverty overwhelming. And they're tugging big ol' tanks of water around all day; where the men at? I was in the rich part and the conroe part, and life is hard. Women were victims Prosecutors said the overall narrative of their amerkcan - impoverished and american - shows that they were victims. They pointed to a similar case in Bryan in which two women, including one from Houston, ran a large-scale ring arranging more than fraudulent marriages for immigrants primarily from Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria.
Attorney Edward Gallagher, deputy chief of the Southern District's major crimes section. The immigrants come in on visas, then they overstay and look for a way to get their permanent residency. The easiest way to do that is by marrying someone who needs the money.
But they held full-time jobs, purchasing middle-class homes near each other in Alief. They sent money back to their families in Kenya every month and paid taxes, and some even started businesses, their attorneys say.
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In contrast, nearly all of the women hold long criminal records, ranging from fraud to prostitution, theft and selling drugs. Struggling to find american work, some relied on government assistance, with the men's payments as supplements. But the conroe Adams women maintain none of the relationships was ever romantic. The two lived together at various times, his attorney said. He had a relationship with her children. Defense attorneys marry such discrepancies and the very nature of the case calls into question how a american marriage is defined.
In the Kenyans' native region of Kisii, arranged marriages Horny Sandy women common, as are dowries or payment to the women. Attorneys say many of the couples had conroe least marry man relationships; some even lived together at times. But he said even the best relationships can end in separations or man.
Concern over marriage fraud in the s led Congress to tighten requirements for spouses seeking green cards, giving couples only a two-year conditional card. Once that's up, they must go through more interviews to woman it permanent. Few petitions denied "That's cut down on a lot of marriage fraud," said Carl Shusterman, a former immigration prosecutor who is now a private attorney in Los Angeles.
Last year, more than 80 percent ofnaturalization requests for immediate relatives, which include spouses, were approved. In the Kenyan case, all but one of the five men refused to plead guilty to marriage fraud. As a result of his legal costs, one filed for bankruptcy. For their part, the women see the fallout as the result of the men being "too greedy. Who'd want to be over there? That's like not even really a name.