2 Israeli-American couples accused of sham marriage by US immigration

October 27, 2007 21:59

Two Americans and two Israelis accused by immigration authorities of entering into sham marriages are scheduled to appear in court Monday. Jessica Martinez, a US citizen, and her Israeli husband Eldad Efraim; and Ray Richard Vega, a US citizen, and his Israeli wife, Miri Smoler, are charged with "knowingly enter(ing) into a marriage for the purpose of evading a provision of immigration laws," according to court documents. The felony charge carries up to five years in federal prison and up to $250,000 (€173,804) in fines. Both couples married in November 2004. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement allege Efraim and Smoler paid Martinez and Vega $5,000 (€3,476) each to enter into fraudulent marriages. Agents arrested the four Brownsville residents on Wednesday after executing a search warrant at a home. It is unclear if the four lived in the home.

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