Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cuban woman accused of marriage fraud with at least 10 ‘husbands’

Cuban woman accused of marriage fraud with at least 10 'husbands'

Federal Court records do not say how investigators came to discover the
marriage fraud ring, but one of the documents in the case contains a
possible clue: the main defendant married at least 10 "husbands" who
actually were undocumented immigrants.

Yosandra Piedra Vásquez's first "wedding" took place on Jan. 23, 2002 in
Miami-Dade County and the last on Feb. 24, 2012 in Georgia, according to
an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury last week.

The case is the most recent in a long series of similar episodes in
recent years in which Cubans who have settled in the United States under
auspices of the Cuban Adjustment Act have then agreed to participate in
fraudulent "marriages" with foreigners who have no papers so they can
get obtain green cards for permanent residence.

Undocumented immigrants prefer to "marry" Cuban migrants because their
spouses can secure permanent residence immediately if their petition is
approved by immigration officials. If an undocumented immigrant marries
a U.S. citizen, they can still get a green card, but they are normally
valid for two years — unless a petition is filed to remove the conditions.

"Using one's immigration status for fraudulent purposes, such as in this
case, is a serious crime," said Kathy A. Redman, Southeast Regional
Director for USCIS. "This violation of our immigration system will not
be tolerated."

A recent case prior to the latest one was discovered on Aug. 20, 2015
when federal prosecutors charged 14 individuals with conspiring to
commit marriage fraud.

According to the indictment in that case, between December 2009 and July
2014, marriage fraud ring leaders recruited Cubans to marry non-Cuban
foreigners so they could obtain permanent residence.

As for the 10 "husbands" Piedra Vásquez was accused of marrying, her
case is neither the first of multiple marriages nor the worst.

In a case federal agents discovered in 2005, one of the defendants had
"married" 14 "husbands."

Court records in the current case involving Piedra Vasquez do not
provide many details because the only important document on the docket
available Monday was the indictment.

There was no criminal complaint on file, nor the names of any defense
lawyers for the two defendants Piedra Vásquez and Yoel de Moya Lozada,
apparently her cousin.

Marriage fraud victims are identified only by their initials.

According to the indictment, Piedra Vásquez is Cuban, but it does not
say what nationality was Moya Lozada. However, the document indicates
that he is Cuban also.

Piedra Vásquez married non-Cuban foreigners, while Moya Lozada recruited
customers in South Florida and Georgia, according to the indictment.

The case began on Jan. 23, 2002 when Piedra Vásquez married J.A.G in
Miami-Dade, according to the indictment.

Four years later, on April 27, 2006, Piedra Vásquez married N.E.M., also
in Miami-Dade, according to the document.

Two years later, on May 17, 2008, Piedra Vásquez married C.R.R.K. in
Broward. The following month, on June 4, 2008, she married P.A.G.G. in
Miami-Dade; followed by another marriage 23 days later, on June 27,
2008. The following year, she married three times, according to the
indictment, on March 19, 2009 to F.A.G.C. in Georgia; on June 15, 2009
to L.C.D.P. in Broward and on Sept. 17, 2009 to G.M. in Georgia.

Piedra Vásquez had a much less busy wedding schedule between 2010 and
2012. According to the indictment she married N.F.R.F. on July 28, 2010
in Miami-Dade; and then on Feb. 24, 2012 in Georgia she married G.M.F.

The indictment does not mention whether Piedra Vásquez divorced after
each marriage to avoid being charged with polygamy.

Moya Lozada charged a fee for arranging marriages, but the case does not
say how much he charged.

In the case discovered in 2005, the fee was $ 5,000 per marriage.

The maximum penalty mentioned in the indictment against Piedra Vásquez
and Moya Lozada is up to 15 years in prison.

If they are not U.S. citizens, they could then be placed in deportation


Source: Cuban woman accused of marriage fraud with at least 10
'husbands' | In Cuba Today -
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