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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



JUNE 1, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


FIVE PAKISTANI NATIONALS, U.S. CITIZEN PLEAD GUILTY

TO IMMIGRATION VIOLATIONS IN

MARRIAGE FRAUD SCHEME


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that five Pakistani nationals and a U.S. citizen have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a marriage fraud scheme.


             Waseem Qammar, 26, of Sugar Creek, Mo., pleaded guilty on Thursday, May 31, 2007, to the charges contained in a Nov. 15, 2006, federal indictment.


             By pleading guilty, Waseem Qammar admitted that he aided and abetted others in making a false statement on an immigration application on Feb. 22, 2003.


             Waseem Qammar is the sixth and final co-defendant to plead guilty to the charges stemming from a scheme to enter into marriages with U.S. citizens for the purpose of evading immigration laws.


             Robyn Adele Raja, 53, Qammar Ulzaman Raja, 47, and Muhammed Shafique, 43, all of Independence, Mo., and Nadeem Qammar, 24, of Sugar Creek, have pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting others in making false statements on immigration applications between Nov. 16, 2001, and Sept. 1, 2004. Riaz Ahmed, 45, of Independence, pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to falsify statements on immigration applications between Dec. 29, 1997, and Oct. 31, 2006.


             Robyn Raja is a citizen of the United States; all of the other co-defendants are citizens of Pakistan who entered the United States (initially residing in New York) on visitor visas. Qammar Raja is the father of Waseem and Nadeem Qammar.


             Robyn Raja and other female U.S. citizens received compensation for their marriages to co-defendants Qammar Raja, Waseem Qammar, Nadeem Qammar, Ahmed and Shafique so that they could fraudulently establish a legal means through their marriages in which to become citizens of the United States. None of the Pakistani nationals actually resided with the U.S. citizens following their marriages, although they made that claim under oath on immigration applications.


             Qammar Raja was accorded status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States based on his marriage to co-defendant Robyn Raja. Shafique and Ahmed were both accorded status as lawful permanent residents based on their marriages to the same U.S. citizen, who was not named in the indictment. Nadeem Qammar was accorded status as a lawful permanent resident based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen, who is not named in the indictment. Waseem Qammar attempted to obtain lawful permanent resident status based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen, who is not named in the indictment.


            Under federal statutes, Ahmed could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. The remaining co-defendants could be subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. Meiners. It was investigated by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html