Las Vegas pair plead guilty in marriage fraud scheme


Two Las Vegas residents pleaded guilty Thursday for facilitating a marriage fraud scheme in an attempt to deceive immigration authorities.

Jennifer Hamoy, 58, and Antonio Ybanez, 76, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, according to Trisha Young of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. According to a release, from Dec. 10, 2013 to July 10, 2015 the pair assisted people to enter sham marriages for the purpose of gaining permanent resident status and citizenship.

Hamoy and Ybanez instructed couples on how to make their marriages appear genuine to immigration officials by opening joint bank accounts, filing joint tax returns, obtaining driver’s licenses with the same address, and taking photos together, the release said.

Ybanez is also accused of filing fraudulent immigration paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

Hamoy and Ybanez are scheduled to appear in court in August to be formally sentenced. The maximum statutory penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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