It was a real-life
, except instead of Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell finding sweet, sweet love we got a mother hiring out her kid for a fake marriage to a Cambodian immigrant.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Houston announced this morning the indictments of six people for trying to commit marriage fraud in order to stay in America. The six were involved in "sham marriages," which we thought was something only Tom Cruise did.
Helen Garcia, 64, is accused of taking payments in order to facilitate the sham marriage of her daughter Julianne to Samphear Thou, 35, of Cambodia. And they seemed like such a lovely couple.
"Americans who break the law by committing marriage fraud or other, related offenses may potentially threaten the national security of the United States," said Peter S. Hargraves, special agent in charge of the State Department's DSS, Houston Field Office. "The U.S. visa is one of the most coveted travel documents in the world, and foreign nationals who acquire visas fraudulently to enter the United States may do so in order to carry out criminal activities, including terrorism. This case demonstrates Diplomatic Security's commitment to investigating these crimes and helping bring them to justice."
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Where is the love? Not here:
The indictment, returned by a Houston grand jury on Monday, May 10, 2010, alleges the conspirators would and did recruit U.S. citizens to enter into fraudulent marriages with Cambodian nationals. These "recruits" were paid substantial "marriage fees" to enter into the sham marriages. The conspirators entered into the sham marriages for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining the benefit of conditional permanent resident status and later lawful permanent resident status in the United States as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. In some instances, a recruit was required to kickback a portion of the marriage fee to their recruiter.
So these two people enter into a sham marriage, they're forced to live together for a brief period where they immediately get on each other's nerves, but then....(cue Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door" on the trailer soundtrack)...the feds come.
Somehow we don't see this testing well with preview audiences.