'Sweetheart' Immigration Scam Ringleader Headed to Prison

'Sweetheart' Immigration Scam Ringleader Headed to Prison

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered a Vietnamese national to serve 15 months in prison for orchestrating fake romances to help others obtain immigration papers.

Henry Ngoc Nguyen pleaded guilty to six counts of aiding and abetting the illegal entry of people into the United States.

Nguyen ran Multi-Services Office in West Valley City, preparing immigration petitions for U.S. Citizens and their Vietnamese sweethearts.

Prosecutors say the relationships were false and that Vietnamese citizens paid $30,000 to marry Utahns in the hopes of being allowed to immigrate. They say recruiters got citizens to participate in the scam and travel to Vietnam to bolster their legitimacy of the "relationships."

About 20 other people charged by prosecutors have already been sentenced. More than 60 U.S. citizens have also been charged for allegedly lying by saying an immigrant was their bona fide spouse or fiance. They face up to six months in jail if convicted.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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