Topeka Man Pleads Guilty To Arranging Fraudulent Marriages
TOPEKA, KAN. - A Topeka man has pleaded guilty to arranging fraudulent marriages for foreign nationals who wanted to become United States citizens, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Quong Bow Low, 75, Topeka, Kan., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Topeka to one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. In his plea, he admitted that from 1992 to 2013 he facilitated fraudulent marriages between U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Investigators identified approximately 40 arranged marriages in which he was involved. Foreign nationals used the marriages to obtain, or attempt to obtain, status as lawful permanent residents.
Low’s services included locating a U.S. citizen to participate in the fraudulent marriage, providing documentation in support of the marriage, and instructing the foreign national and the citizen on the immigration interviews they would face with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS.
Low provided one client with a price list including $6,000 to $7,000 to begin the process and find a U.S. citizen who would participate in the fraudulent marriage, $500 per month between the marriage and the interview to keep the U.S. citizen involved, $6,000 to $8,000 for coaching and services related to the permanent residency interview and a final lump sum of several thousand dollars when the client received permanent residence status.
Low admitted providing supporting documentation for the legitimacy of the marriages, including a lease of an apartment in the basement of his home and congratulation cards addressed to the participants in the fraudulent marriage. Investigators found records indicating Low was a witness for at least 12 marriages, served as a financial sponsor for at least four marriages, provided a lease for his basement apartment for at least four marriages, let the couples list his residence as their own on at least 13 marriages.
“Marriage fraud is a serious crime that exploits our nation’s immigration system and poses a vulnerability to our security,” said Special Agent in Charge Gary Hartwig, of Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago. “HSI will continue to identify and arrest individuals whose actions violate U.S. immigration laws.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2014. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended the Department of Homeland Security and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney for their work on the case.