(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – A senior employee of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC) is being accused by a Florida woman of marriage fraud by marrying her to obtain his permanent residency status.
The woman has taken to social media to detail her relationship, stating she had been “tricked” into marrying the man for immigration purposes.
She posted a picture of a purported State of Florida Marriage Record dated November 2, 2022, which states that she and the man were joined in marriage as per the laws of the State of Florida.
An alleged WhatsApp exchange between the two was also attached, in which she is told, “U really lucky yuh know…U dating the most wanted celebrity.”
The man had not spoken publicly about the claim and had not responded to calls and messages from the Express.
However, chairman of the PDRC, Dr Allan Sammy, has confirmed that he knew of the allegations made by the woman and had spoken with the employee.
Sammy said “certain things” were happening but did not disclose what he meant by this.
“Certain calls have been made yes, but that is as far as I’m willing to go. Not really except that we have read, I’ve spoken to the gentleman in question and certain things are happening, but I am not in a position to reveal those things,” Sammy said.
In her social media post, the woman stated that she and the man had developed a close relationship after he portrayed himself to be a “religious, humble and respectful person” when they first met.
She said he had informed her he was separated from his wife and that the two eventually got married after having a physical relationship. She alleged that following this he began to spread rumours about their relationship.
“He brought his family here in Florida from Trinidad and that is when he started telling everyone I’m crazy, I’m making things up, I’m a liar, we were never together. He lied to me, he told me he loved me and now he is telling everyone this and it is not true. He has used me and my family and this is the type of person that he is,” she said.
The Express asked the man via WhatsApp yesterday if he was aware of the allegations made against him and if he had any response and to confirm his marriage. No response was received.
Marriage fraud a Federal crime
In the United States, marriage fraud is considered a Federal crime in which a marriage is entered into for the purpose of obtaining a green card and immigrating to the US.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regards this as a crime with severe repercussions for both the immigrant and the US citizen involved.
The US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 275 (c) states that any individual who enters the marriage purposely and knowingly intending to evade any provision of immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than five years and be fined not more than US$250,000 or both.
In addition, the individual’s eligibility for a US visa or green card would be restricted.
In the State of Florida, bigamy (in which a person having a living husband or wife marries another person) is a third-degree felony that bears the penalty of a US$5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.