Dallas Attorney Sentenced for Marriage Fraud Scheme
DALLAS — Bilal Ahmed Khaleeq, 48, a Dallas attorney, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey to 6 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.
Co-defendant Amna Cheema, 38, a Pakistani national, previously pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme and was sentenced to time served.
According to the plea agreement factual resume, in June 2015, Khaleeq and others knowingly and unlawfully conspired and agreed together and with each other to unlawfully facilitate and enter into a marriage between Cheema and a United States citizen, Person A, for the purpose of evading immigration laws. Cheema and Person A were married in Dallas County, Texas and subsequently filed permanent residence applications with USCIS in July 2015. In exchange for agreeing to marry Cheema, Person A was paid $745. Cheema also admitted engaging in discussions with Khaleeq and Person A at Khaleeq’s law office on more than one occasion to discuss preparation for the USCIS interview and required documentary evidence including joint bank accounts, tax returns, and bills concerning their joint residence. According to co-defendant Cheema, Khaleeq also represented the couple at the USCIS interview in April 2016 and advised them on additional evidence to make the marriage appear legitimate.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Javier prosecuted.
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