An Army sergeant has been convicted of conspiring to marry soldiers to immigrants in return for cash and other marriage-related benefits.
Sgt. Edward Anguah, a culinary specialist at Fort Bragg, was found guilty Thursday of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and fraudulent use of visas and other documents, according to the Army Times.
Pvt. Endasia East, who was married, admitted to investigators that she was engaged in a romantic relationship with another soldier. East was simultaneously married to Ghanaian citizen Sulemana Ibrahim, who lived in New York. She told investigators she married Ibrahim as part of Anguah’s sham marriage ring.
East contacted Anguah after meeting with Spc. Ahmid Mohammed-Murtadaas, a U.S. citizen from Ghana who wanted to help Ibrahim obtain U.S. residency. In marrying Ibrahim, East was able to receive a basic housing allowance for married people from the Army and two months’ rent at her apartment.
When East spoke with Anguah, who acted as the facilitator, he “made it clear that he had arranged a number of other sham marriages and was well versed with the [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services] paperwork required from both the soldier spouses and the alien.” Anguah also tried to convince East to spread the word to other soldiers who might be interested in a similar arrangement.
Controlled calls between East and Anguah were used to validate the allegations. The two also communicated through the encrypted phone application WhatsApp. While speaking to Anguah on one of the controlled calls, East spoke about bringing another person into the ring.
“Remember when we had that conversation about [sic] you asked if I had a friend that would be interested in doing the same thing that I’m doing with Ibrahim?” East asked Anguah.
Anguah said he did, and after being told East had a friend who wanted to get involved, the two began to discuss payments.
An undercover agent later met Anguah at a coffee shop in Fort Bragg. Anguah spoke about the scheme to the agent and detailed how it would be done. He also discussed how much the agent wanted to charge.
“Caught off guard, the UC asked for $800, to which Anguah laughed at the UC and suggested she charge $2,000,” court documents recount.
In addition to facilitating the sham marriage ring, Anguah also organized wedding matters such as dresses and wedding rings.
He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
The post Army soldier convicted in sham marriage ring between troops and immigrants appeared first on Washington Examiner.