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