Date
23 January 2017
This wedding photo is part of evidence provided by US immigration officials who are investigating fake marriages. Their faces were obscured because investigation was ongoing. Photo: LA Times
This wedding photo is part of evidence provided by US immigration officials who are investigating fake marriages. Their faces were obscured because investigation was ongoing. Photo: LA Times

Dad-daughter team arrested over green card marriage schemes

A man from Santa Fe Springs in Los Angeles County, California, and his daughter were arrested by US federal agents on suspicion of arranging phony marriages of Chinese clients hoping to obtain legal immigration status.

Jason Shiao, 65, and Lynn Leung, 43, are suspected of orchestrating more than 70 fraudulent immigration applications over nearly a decade, Los Angeles Times reported.

The two allegedly demanded as much as US$50,000 from their clients in exchange for arranging their fake marriages with poor and sometimes homeless individuals who need money badly.

Federal officials said the father-daughter team would help stage the weddings and honeymoons — complete with photo shoots — help in processing their clients’ marriage and immigration papers and even coach the couples on how to behave and answer questions in front of authorities, according to the newspaper.

On Wednesday, federal investigators seized documents and electronic equipment from Shiao’s office in Pasadena where he allegedly misrepresented himself as an immigration attorney.

Federal officials are looking for a third person, Shannon Mendoza, 48, who they said helped recruit Americans to act as spouses to Shiao’s clients.

For their effort, these US citizens were promised commissions of as much as US$10,000, but many later complained that they never received the money.

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RA/CG

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