Two Peruvian Nationals Plead Guilty to Marriage Fraud
BOISE – Two co-defendants in a Wood River Valley marriage fraud scheme entered guilty pleas today in United States District Court in Boise, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson.
Jenny Sedano-Vilcapoma, 30, of Ketchum, Idaho, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Rudy Isla-Mejico, 36, of Bellevue, Idaho, pled guilty to marriage fraud. The two Peruvian nationals appeared before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse.
According to the plea agreement and her admissions in court, in October 2006, Sedano-Vilcapoma agreed to enter into a fraudulent marriage with a U.S. citizen for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits for herself. The scheme required that, in exchange for financial compensation, the citizen spouse would assist Sedano-Vilcapoma in obtaining lawful permanent resident status by filing forms and attending immigration interviews. On October 1, 2007, Sedano-Vilcapoma filed paperwork with the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).
Isla-Mejico admitted that in January 2007, he and Sedano-Vilcapoma met with two individuals in Blaine County, Idaho, for the purpose of recruiting one, a U.S. citizen, to enter into a fraudulent marriage with the other, a non-U.S. citizen, in order to obtain immigration benefits. According to the plea agreement, the two agreed to enter into a fraudulent marriage, on January 31, 2007, after which the citizen spouse was paid $2,000. On June 15, 2007, the parties signed and submitted forms to CIS in an attempt to obtain immigration benefits.
The charge of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, as charged in count one of the indictment, and marriage fraud, as charged in count two, are each punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Sedano-Vilcapoma and Isla-Mejico are scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 at the federal courthouse in Boise.
“Our nation's immigration laws are intended to provide benefits to individuals who meet certain criteria—not opportunists who manipulate the system for personal gain,” said Brad Bench, acting special agent in charge who oversees ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Idaho. “ICE will continue to investigate those involved in these types of criminal schemes.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).
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