News and Press Releases

CITIZEN OF MOROCCO INVOLVED IN
MARRIAGE FRAUD SCHEME IS SENTENCED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2012

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that KHALID KASSEM, 41, a citizen of Morocco last residing in West Haven, was sentenced yesterday, January 11, to approximately three months of imprisonment, time served, for his role in a marriage fraud scheme.
           
According to court documents and statements made in court, in November 2010, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated an investigation into fraudulent marriages that had allegedly been arranged between Moroccan nationals, including KASSEM, and U.S. citizens in order for the Moroccan nationals to unlawfully immigrate to the U.S.  The investigation included the use of consensual recordings, an examination of immigration and airline records, and other information.
           
The investigation revealed that KASSEM’s sister-in-law, Bahija Saadoun, recruited a co-worker, Dawn Peck, an American citizen, to marry KASSEM.  As part of the scheme, Saadoun provided Peck with an all-expense paid trip to Morocco and $6,000 cash.  Peck signed a fraudulent Alien Fiancé Petition and, based on the fraudulent petition, Citizenship and Naturalization Services granted KASSEM a conditional green card.
           
On November 2, 2011, KASSEM pleaded guilty to one count of making a false swearing in an immigration matter.
           
KASSEM, who has been detained since his arrest on October 6, 2011, will be deported to Morocco.
           
Saadoun and Peck have each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and await sentencing.
           
This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s ICE Homeland Security Investigations and Citizenship and Immigration Services, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security Unit.  The Connecticut State Police, and the Norwalk, Trumbull, Bridgeport and Naugatuck Police Departments have assisted the investigation.
           
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rahul Kale.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

 

 

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