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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jamaican National Convicted Of Marriage Fraud

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Nerene Erica Harrison (32, St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica) guilty of marriage fraud. Harrison faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 23, 2014. Harrison was indicted on November 13, 2013, along with Robert Kenneth Scott Cruz.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Harrison, a Jamaican national, came to the United States in 2007 on a temporary work visa. After her visa expired, Harrison offered Cruz, a United States citizen, $6,000 to marry her. They were married on August 15, 2011 and subsequently petitioned for Harrison to receive lawful permanent resident status based on the marriage.

Cruz pleaded guilty on March 27, 2014. He faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has been set for November 11, 2014.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlton C. Gammons and Josephine W. Thomas.

Updated January 26, 2015