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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 16, 2016

Iowa Woman Sentenced to Prison for Making a False Statement in an Immigration Petition

A woman who made a false statement in an immigration petition was sentenced today to more than three months in federal prison.

Tamie Marie Samuels, age 46, from North Liberty, Iowa, received the prison term after a May 9, 2016, jury verdict finding her guilty of one count of making a false statement in an immigration matter. 

The evidence at trial showed that on March 11, 2015, Samuels filed an immigration petition to help her fourth husband, who she married on February 3, 2015, gain legal status to remain in the United States.  Samuels’ husband is from Jamaica and he entered the United States on a visitor visa on February 1, 2015.  In the immigration petition, Samuels falsely claimed she had never filed a petition for an alien relative before.  Samuels had previously filed a petition for an alien relative in 1997 for her second husband who was from Peru.  United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews immigration petitions and investigates whether the marital relationships indicate marriage fraud.  By denying that she filed a previous immigration petition, USCIS was unaware of Samuels previous filing which could have impacted USCIS’ review of the new petition.  The investigation of Samuels began in February 2015 when Homeland Security Investigations learned that Samuels had booked a flight and given her third husband’s U.S. passport to another individual to use to attempt to illegally enter the United States from an island in the Caribbean in May 2014. 

Samuels was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Samuels was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  She must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Samuels was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the United States Marshal on October 10, 2016.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Tvedt and investigated by investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.  The case file number is 16-CR-0001.

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Topic(s): 
Immigration
Component(s): 
Updated September 16, 2016