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35-year-old Indian pleads guilty to marriage fraud to obtain green card

New York, Sep 26 (IANS) A 35-year-old Indian national in the US state of Illinois has pleaded guilty to committing marriage fraud in order to obtain a green card or permanent residency in the country.

The charge on Vivek Chauhan carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, US Attorney Trini E Ross announced recently.

On April 2, 2018, Chauhan entered into a wedlock with a female US citizen in Worcester, Massachusetts, which was not genuine, investigations revealed. They never resided together, and entered the “contract marriage” only for the purpose of obtaining a permanent resident card, also known as a green card, for Chauhan, Assistant US Attorney John D. Fabian, who handled the case, stated.

On June 1, 2018, using his Indian passport, Chauhan submitted an application to register permanent residence or adjust status to the Department of Homeland Security citing his fraudulent marriage. He was interviewed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in May 2019, during which his “wife” stated that she lived together with Chauhan in Connecticut.

He was interviewed a second time by the USCIS in November 2021, during which he falsely claimed to continue to reside with his “wife” in Connecticut. In addition, he also falsely claimed that his “wife” was pregnant with his child.

Further investigations revealed that the US citizen, whom Chauhan married during the course of conspiracy, brokered multiple fraudulent marriages that were conducted in Hamburg, and facilitated multiple USCIS interviews that were conducted in Buffalo.

Chauhan’s sentencing is scheduled for January 26, 2024.

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