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Houston: Nigerian woman sentenced in marriage fraud scam that led to 11 convictions

By Gabrielle Banks - Houston Chronicle - 17-10-17
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A Nigerian woman was sentenced in Houston Tuesday for conspiring to commit marriage fraud with the aim of getting permanent residency status. The woman was one of 11 individuals convicted in two related immigration schemes involving fake marriages for Nigerians in the Houston area.

Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal sentenced Ifeoma J. Adamolekun told, 41, of Houston, to the time she'd already served in federal detention, waiving the fine that customarily is attached at sentencing. She now faces a detainer for deportation.

Adamolekun pleaded guilty in June 2016 to marrying an American citizen in November 2014 while still married to her spouse in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In exchange for that plea, the government dropped a related criminal count.

The American she married on paper, Charles R. Warren, 44, pleaded guilty in April 2016 to conspiring to knowingly to commit marriage fraud and was sentenced by Rosenthal earlier in October to six months in prison.

Three others based in Houston and involved in the marriage fraud scheme were found guilty after a five-day jury trial in April. The chief perpetrator, Folarin H. Alabi, 35, was convicted of conspiracy to commit and aiding and abetting in marriage fraud and was sentenced in August to 18 months in prison. Justice Daniel, 41, was convicted of conspiracy and marriage fraud and was sentenced in August to time served. Both Alabi and Daniel are Nigerian nationals.

Letrishia A. Andrews, 37, a U.S. citizen, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and marriage fraud and is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 6.

Testimony during the trial revealed that Alabi went to local nightclubs and recruited Nigerian nationals looking for permanent immigration status. Witnesses said he targeted people in the country on tourist visas who were hoping to prolong their stays and paid U.S. citizens to enter into fraudulent marriages. The evidence showed he helped the fake couples with the immigration paperwork, coached them on how to answer immigration questions and facilitated staged photographs of the false newlyweds to back up the legitimacy of their unions.


Tags: Nigerian, marriage fraud, Letrishia A. Andrews, Ifeoma J. Adamolekun, deportation, Charles R. Warren, Folarin H. Alabi,Justice Daniel

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