THREE PLEAD GUILTY IN BLAINE COUNTY MARRIAGE FRAUD SCHEME
Daniel Casado, 33, of Austin, Texas., Joshua Lee Buell, 29, of Ketchum, Idaho, and Bryon Thomas Bain, 33, of Friday Harbor, Washington, each pleaded guilty in federal court in Boise to a misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting making fraudulent statements in an application for immigration registration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today.
According to court documents, in 2006 and 2007, Bain, Casado and Buell entered into sham marriages with Peruvian women, knowing that the sole purpose was for the women to obtain an immigration benefit. The men did not live with the women as husband and wife. The men were each paid approximately $3,000 to $5,000 to participate in the marriage fraud scheme and each fraudulently executed and signed a Petition for Alien Relative form stating that the marriage was legitimate. On the same day the form was signed, the woman used the form to apply for permanent resident status. All three applications were approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When the men were later interviewed by USCIS, they admitted knowing the form would be used by the women to obtain immigration status and benefits. They also admitted knowingly and intentionally aiding the women in making false statements on their application form.
The marriages were orchestrated during individual meetings at which the defendants met with their future alien spouse and other individuals who arranged the marriages. The scheme was described to the men and each was offered payment to participate in a sham marriage with the alien. The men admitted that everyone participating in the meeting knew the scheme was against the law and designed to illegally obtain immigration benefits.
The charge of aiding and abetting making fraudulent statements in an application for immigration registration carries a maximum punishment of up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and a term of supervised release of not more than one year.
Bain pled guilty on April 27, 2011. Sentencing is set for May 16, 2011, before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale. Buell and Casado both pled guilty yesterday and will be sentenced on July 20, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.