Citizens of Benin, Africa Sentenced to Time Served for Fraud Related Charges
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that the Honorable Laurie Smith Camp, Chief United States District Court Judge sentenced Cossi Deguenon and Micheline Bolarywa to time served after they pled guilty to fraud related charges.
Cossi Deguenon and Micheline Bolarywa are citizens of Benin, Africa and had come to the United States on student visas. Deguenon came in 2006 and Bolarywa came in 2008. Deguenon married a United States Citizen in 2011 and subsequent to that marriage he applied for a green card based on his new status as the spouse of a citizen. When United States Citizen and Immigration Services processed his application they determined the marriage was entered into fraudulently and was a sham. In fact, in 2009, Cossi Deguenon and Micheline Bolarywa applied for and received a marriage license in Douglas County. Federal agents served a search warrant at Deguenon’s residence and found wedding pictures of Cossi Deguenon and Micheline Bolarywa from 2009. During the investigation it was learned that Micheline Bolarywa had been employed at Remington Lodging and Hospitality, a Marriott Corporation, and that when she applied for the job, affirmed that she was a United States citizen when in fact she wasn’t.
Cossi Deguenon pled guilty to marriage fraud and served 9 days in jail. Micheline Bolarywa pled guilty to making a false statement under oath and served 6 days. Both Cossi Deguenon and Micheline Bolarywa are being deported to Benin.
The case was investigated by the United States Citizen and Immigration and Services and Homeland Security Investigations.