Three brothers living in Jacksonville were found guilty by a federal jury as noted in a press release on February 7, 2013 from Immigration and Customs Enforcement 'ICE'.
The investigating agencies found the 3 brothers guilty of a conspiracy to enter into marriage for the purpose of evading the US immigration laws. The participating agencies in the investigation are the US immigration and customs enforcement, the citizenship and immigration service, the federal air Marshall service, the FBI and the Jacksonville sheriff.
The testimony and evidence used to convict the 3 brothers who are from Syria and who sought out and married 3 American citizens comprised of two sisters and their sister-in-law demonstrated that the marriages were only to get permanent status 'green cards' and eventually to become American citizens.
The marriages occurred in 1999, 2002 and 2005. The women were paid cash for the marriages in one of the marriages the payments were on a monthly payment basis. One woman was paid $3000 for her to travel to Syria on two occasions. On one trip she got engaged and on the 2nd trip she entered into the marriage.
The three brothers made false statements on the applications with immigration. They also made false statements when they were interviewed about the marriages. Before the interviews were conducted the couples met and prepared their responses rehearsing the stories that they would tell immigration.
The three brothers had been granted permanent resident status but were found out by authorities before they became United States citizens and now they are facing deportation based upon the convictions. The 3 women also pleaded guilty to conspiracy and became cooperating witnesses investigation receiving 2 years of probation each.
Each of the brothers faces a maximum five years in federal prison for the conspiracy and up to ten years for each of the other offenses.