‘This indictment reveals how successful our working relationships are with our law enforcement and intelligence partners when it comes to investigating marriage fraud…’
(Brian Freimuth, Liberty Headlines) Law-enforcement officials said Ashley Yen Nguyen, aka Duyen, 53, of Houston, ran a statewide illegal-immigration ring and charged aliens from Vietnam $50,000 to $70,000 each for help organizing fake marriages to U.S. citizens.
On April 30, a federal grand jury charged 96 people for involvement in Nguyen’s conspiracy.
A joint investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Houston, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services found that these legally married couples did not live together and had no intention of doing so.
Officials alleged that many of these immigrants had met their spouses only briefly before becoming legally married.
Further investigation found that Nguyen had worked with others to prepare false legal paperwork and fake evidence of the marriages.
Officials said Nguyen maintained a network of contacts across the state of Texas and in the Republic of Vietnam, paying U.S. citizens to act as spouses and petitioners for the fake weddings.
Authorities have already arrested 50 of the 96 who were charged for involvement in Nguyen’s scheme.
“These arrests mark the culmination of a comprehensive yearlong multi-agency investigation into one of the largest alleged marriage fraud conspiracies ever documented in the Houston area,” said Mark Dawson, special agent in charge of HSI Houston.
Law-enforcement officials said that Nguyen and her organization made fake wedding albums. They also provided false tax and employment information to the USCIS.
“Marriage fraud is a serious crime,” said Tony Bryson, district director of USCIS Houston. “This indictment reveals how successful our working relationships are with our law enforcement and intelligence partners when it comes to investigating marriage fraud. USCIS remains steadfast in our commitment to ensuring national security, public safety and the integrity of the immigration system.”
The 96 people involved in Nguyen’s alleged conspiracy have been indicted for a total of 206 federal crimes, including marriage fraud, mail fraud, immigration fraud and conspiring to commit immigration fraud.
They will be tried by assistant U.S. attorneys Adam Laurence Goldman, Michael Day and Kate Suh.