JACKSON, Mississippi – Two immigrants from India and 17 others are facing federal charges after hatching a scheme to fraudulently bring more residents from India through a marriage scam that would grant them legal status.
Tarunkumar and Sachin Patel of India worked to get their friends living in their native country legal status by arranging “four sham marriages between their friends and American women” back in 2011, according to CBS News.
Later in 2014, Tarunkumar, 50, started bribing a Mississippi police officer to provide fake police reports in order to federal immigration officials to sign off on special visas for victims of particular crimes.
Tarunkumar said he arranged his first marriage when a friend of his, an immigrant from India named Virenda Rajput, came to Jackson, Mississippi from Massachusetts–telling him that he had met an American woman he wanted to marry.
“My friend told me, ‘I want to marry her’,” Tarunkumar told U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate, according to CBS News.
Rajput did in fact marry the woman and she was paid for marrying the immigrant, as Tarunkumar’s attorney told the court that their primary reason for the marriage was so Rajput could obtain legal status in the country.
“They were married just for the convenience of getting the citizenship,” the attorney said. “That was the No. 1 purpose.”
Meanwhile in 2013, Sachin convinced a friend of his to marry a man from India so he could obtain legal status. The marriage and another were arranged by Sachin in 2014 and the women were also paid for their services with money sometimes amounting to $300 at a time.
The Patels also paid off the Mississippi officer for providing fake police reports, as the brothers told the court that they would pay him $500 each.
“In fact, these noncitizen Indians were not victims of crime in Jackson, Mississippi,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Fulcher said in court.
The brothers are now facing up to 10 years in federal prison for the immigration-marriage scheme, while the other 17 individuals involved likewise face federal charges.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.