Man convicted faking marriages for US citizenship

December 7, 2010 12:28:21 PM PST
A Nigerian native has been stripped of U.S. citizenship after he was convicted of brokering sham marriages so other Nigerians can obtain the American citizenship.

Ibraheem Adeneye's U.S. citizenship was revoked during his sentencing hearing on Monday after a jury convicted him in May of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, naturalization fraud, making a false statement to a federal agency and marriage fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement. He now faces deportation upon his release from federal custody.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security officials began investigating Adeneye in 2008 after becoming suspicious that he was paying U.S. citizens to marry Nigerian nationals and help them get them U.S. citizenship.

Detectives contacted Adeneye through an ex-spouse and used an undercover agent to broker a sham marriage with him. Adeneye then arranged a marriage ceremony at the Harris County courthouse three days after the undercover detective and a Nigerian acquaintance met. County officials were aware of the investigation, so the fraudulent marriage wasn't performed.

During the investigation, detectives that Adeneye's own marriage to his ex-spouse from 2002 through 2007 was fraudulent, and that they never actually lived together. His spouse applied for U.S. citizenship and during the naturalization process, Adeneye lied to authorities about them being married and living together for three years.

The jury convicted Adeneye on May 7 after 45 minutes of deliberation, following a four-day trial. He remained in federal custody until Monday's sentencing hearing.


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