WEST HAVEN MAN INVOLVED IN
MARRIAGE FRAUD SCHEME IS SENTENCED
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that HAMID KASSEM, 38, of West Haven, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to eight months of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, 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 been arranged between Moroccan nationals 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, who lawfully entered the United States from Morocco and became a U.S. citizen in 2009, conspired with his wife, Bahija Saadoun, to bring her siblings and his brother into the U.S. through the use of fraudulent marriages. KASSEM filed affidavits of support for the fraudulent immigration applications that claimed legitimate marriages, and drafted scripts for the individuals involved in fraudulent marriages to follow if questioned by immigration authorities. When he learned that the marriage fraud scheme was under investigation, KASSEM met with a co-defendant and a witness subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury and instructed them to provide false testimony.
On November 16, 2011, KASSEM pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
KASSEM has been detained since his arrest on October 6, 2011.
Saadoun has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and awaits 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.
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