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Press Release

Tampa Woman Sentenced To Prison For Leading Marriage Fraud Ring

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington yesterday sentenced Cassandra Hamilton (55, Tampa) to 15 months in federal prison for engaging in a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Hamilton pleaded guilty on April 15, 2014.

According to court documents, Hamilton engaged in a marriage fraud conspiracy spanning several years, and in excess of ten marriages. Hamilton arranged marriages between U.S. and Jamaican citizens for the purpose of enabling the Jamaican citizens to obtain residency and citizenship. Hamilton was paid for her involvement in arranging the marriages.

"Hamilton conspired to circumvent and exploit our nation's immigration laws for personal financial gain. Her crimes have also resulted in Jamaican nationals who are now permanently barred from obtaining lawful permanent status in the United States." said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa. "HSI will continue to work closely with our partner agencies, including United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to protect the integrity of this country's immigration system."

"As an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS has zero tolerance for marriage fraud," said Ruth Dorochoff, USCIS Tampa District Director. "Justice has been served with this sentencing, and we remain vigilant in detecting and prosecuting any immigration fraud."

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.

Updated January 26, 2015