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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cambodian Man Sentenced to Six Months for Marriage Fraud

Contact: Halsey B. Frank
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Portland, Maine:  United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Sothy Khiev, 48, a citizen of Cambodia who most recently resided in Florida, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court by Judge Nancy Torresen to six months in prison for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.  Khiev was convicted on February 27, 2015 after a four-day bench trial.  After serving his sentence, Khiev will be turned over to immigration authorities for deportation proceedings.

According to the trial evidence, Khiev paid Chanara Sok $5,000 to fraudulently engage and marry his girlfriend, Sophal Cheng, so that she could legally enter the country.  Cheng entered the United States on a fiancé visa and married Sok in Westbrook on September 4, 2007.  Thereafter, Cheng sought to adjust her immigration status on the basis of her fraudulent marriage to Sok.  To conceal the fraudulent marriage, Khiev orchestrated, among other things, false affidavits and letters of support, a false utility bill in the names of Cheng and Sok, and used car purchase and insurance documents in the name of Cheng and Sok.  He also arranged for a false birth certificate identifying Cheng and Sok as parents.

In pronouncing sentence, Judge Torresen observed that countries have the right to control immigration and that Khiev’s violation of federal law to adjust Cheng’s status was unfair to other immigrants who have to follow the law.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service.

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Updated July 17, 2015