Dec. 7, 2010
CITIZENSHIP REVOKED FOR NIGERIAN CONVICTED OF MARRIAGE FRAUD AND OTHER CHARGES
(HOUSTON) – Ibraheem Adeneye has been stripped of his U.S. citizenship at his sentencing hearing yesterday for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, naturalization fraud, making a false statement to a federal agency and marriage fraud, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Adeneye, 33, a naturalized United States citizen originally from Nigeria, was convicted of the charges earlier this year by a jury’s verdict and has been in federal custody in relation to these charges for approximately six months. He is now subject to deportation upon release. United States District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Adeneye to a term of imprisonment equal to the time he has served in custody and granted the government’s motion, stripping Adeneye of his United States citizenship, in federal court in Houston on Monday.
Adeneye was convicted following a four-day jury trial in May 2010, during which the United States presented testimony explaining to the jury that in 2008 agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) initiated an investigation after noticing indications that Adeneye was engaged in brokering sham marriages between Nigerian nationals and U.S. citizens so that the Nigerians could obtain immigration benefits, ultimately leading to United States citizenship. In return, the U.S. citizen “spouses” received cash payments to assist the Nigerians in the deception.
ICE agents made contact with Adeneye by utilizing a confidential informant (CI), who had been previously married to Adeneye, and an undercover agent (UCA) posing as a U.S. citizen willing to engage in a fraudulent marriage. The CI introduced the UCA to Adeneye and Adeneye brokered an agreement between a Nigerian acquaintance and the UCA. A sham marriage was arranged between the UCA and the Nigerian national and three days after their meeting the UCA engaged in a sham marriage ceremony at the Harris County, Texas, courthouse. County officials were aware of the undercover operation and no actual marriage was entered into by the UCA.
During the course of the investigation it was discovered that Adeneye’s own marriage to the CI from 2002 through 2007 was fraudulent, and that the defendant had never lived with his purported spouse. Documents submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Services in support of the defendant’s application for United States citizenship, and sworn to by Adeneye, falsely claimed he had been married to and living with the same U.S. citizen spouse for the previous three years.
The jury returned its verdicts Against Adeneye after 45 minutes of deliberation by a Houston jury in federal court on May 7, 2010.
ICE-HSI conducted the investigation and the case was prosecuted by Douglas Davis and Julie Searle of the United States Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas
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