News and Press Releases

Jamaican Woman Convicted Of Marriage Fraud



Aug. 23, 2012

WICHITA, KAN. – A federal jury today convicted a Jamaican woman of marriage fraud, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Shannakay M. Priest, 28, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, one count of marriage fraud and one count of making a false statement to an agent of Homeland Security.

During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Priest had overstayed her visitor visa when she entered into a sham marriage with co-defendant Joshua Priest, who was a private in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. The two made the agreement so he could obtain additional benefits to married soldiers, and she could get a green card, regain legal status in the United States and receive military benefits and health care for herself and her two children. The marriage was never consummated and the two never lived together.

Joshua Priest pleaded guilty to marriage and wire fraud. He is set for sentencing Oct. 15.

Sentencing for Shannakay Priest will be set at a later date. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. Grissom commended Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson for their work on the case.


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