Rochester man sentenced for fake marriage scheme

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A Rochester man was sentenced Monday for a federal conviction of conspiring to bring non-U.S. citizens to the U.S. under fake marriages.

Jamar Thomas, 30, was sentenced to one year in federal prison for conspiracy to encourage or induce an alien for private or commercial gain to reside in the United States in violation of law.

In October 2015, Homeland Security investigators received information from a confidential informant regarding an ongoing marriage fraud scheme involving Thomas and women in Rochester.

Thomas told a man from Nigeria that in exchange for $5,000, he could arrange fake marriages between non-citizen males and Rochester women to gain legal status in the U.S.

Between November 2015, and September 2016, Thomas met with undercover federal agents and confidential informants in Rochester, who gave him their name, address, date of birth, and telephone numbers. During these meetings, Thomas and the undercover agents or confidential informants discussed specific details of the sham marriage process and the ceremony. The undercover agents or confidential informants paid money directly to Thomas and the women for their roles in the fake marriages.

On at least two occasions, women working for Thomas got married at a Town Clerk's Office within the Western District of New York. On one occasion, Thomas was physically present and acted as a "witness" to one such wedding. However, the town clerk who performed the ceremonies was actually an undercover agent. 

Following the weddings, false immigration forms were prepared and mailed in support of applications to adjust the citizenship status of the new "spouses."

At least once, women working for Thomas accompanied the undercover agent to Buffalo and participated in an immigration interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Also charged in this case were Khaaliqa Kegler, Chimere Brooks, and Nadia Thomas.

Kegler was sentenced to three years probation to include six months home confinement. Brooks was sentenced to two years probation. Nadia Thomas is awaiting sentencing.


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