More than 80 arrested in Florida following marriage fraud roundup - 306 charged in Iowa - Oregon man convicted of software Pirac


my boyfriend and I are both aspiring actors who want to go and live and work in Los Angeles but have not been successful in getting a studio to sponsor us.  we both have american friends who will officially marry us and sponsor us to the United states.  my quetion is:

How log do we have to be married to them before we can get divorced and marry each other?


david ingram replies:

I once told a couple who called a call in radio show I was doing that the only way they would get to the US was to divorce each other and marry Americans to sponsor them.

About 8 years ago, (twenty years after my statement), I was at a funeral and there was a 88 Jeep Grand Wagoneer there with Washington State plates on it and it was identical to one I owned (I own 5 Jeep Grand Wagoneers at the moment). I asked who owned it and a 70+ year old man came forward and we talked about the car. Then he thanked me for my 20 year old advice and called his wife over.  They were the couple who had called the show. 

They had divorced out of anger (not planning) and co-incidentally had both married Americans and both gone to live in the Maple Falls area of Washington State.  When his wife died and she wasn't getting along with her new husband, she divorced the new husband and married the first one.  They had been married for four years this second time and  apparently quite happy.

However, what you are proposing is totally, absolutely and without a doubt illegal.  If caught, all four of you are subject to arrest, fine, and imprisonment. Of course, you and your boy friend will also be deported.

Why not do it? Well, it is just as serious in law as the spontaneous armed robbery of a bank.  More serious because of the fraud and long term planning.  You leave yourself open to those charges forever.  Just as you would expect the authorities to go after someone who had robbed a bank, all that has to happen for you to be arrested ten years from now is for a new wife of the man you married to get mad at him and turn him in to the authorities and you go along for the ride in a prison bus. If she did not turn you in, it could be an American Actress who did not get a role because you got it and she knows what happened and gets you off the set with a phone

Or, it could be your boyfriend's former wife or someone else he offended.

Or it could be a jealous Canadian fellow actor who gets mad at either of you and turns you in just 'because'. Homeland Security takes its

And, even worse things can happen that have nothing to do with Homeland Security,  The people you married for this trip could fall on hard time in the future and sue their ex wife / ex husband for lifetime

No kidding, I had a Canadian man here in the last couple of weeks.  He had a bill from the Canadian government for $48,000 to pay them back for the welfare his wife had received after she was in a car accident and could not work.  He had agreed to pay any support for her for ten years when he sponsored her into Canada.

His new wife was not thrilled with the bill.

You do not hear about the ramifications very often, but they do happen.

You can see the original at the ICE website at

ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement,

The following story is only a few days old but not unusual.  You would be guilty of the same things these 80 people have been charged with. 

May 09, 2008

More than 80 arrested in Florida following marriage fraud roundup

ORLANDO, Fla. - More than eighty individuals involved in various marriage fraud conspiracies throughout Florida were arrested this week following a joint investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The results of the operation, dubbed "Knot so Fast," were announced here today at a joint news conference hosted by United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill; Robert W. Weber, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Tampa; and Kathy Redman, District Director of U.S. CIS in Tampa.

ICE special agents made arrests in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Sarasota, Cocoa Beach and Ft. Myers. Those arrested included individuals who arranged the sham marriages; American citizens who accepted bribes, and foreign nationals who, in some cases paid up to $10,000, to obtain a benefit by committing fraud.

The vast majority of those arrested face criminal charges; however, there are some that face administrative immigration charges to include possible deportation.

Some of these marriages were arranged by individuals who would "coach" those committing the fraud on how to make their marriage appear legitimate. They had wedding dresses on hand, fake cakes, and preset staging for pictures.

U.S. Attorney O'Neill stated, "Sham marriages are a threat to Homeland Security. They subvert our immigration laws and our efforts to ensure proper and legal identification of those who enter and remain in our country. Those individuals who take illegal shortcuts to citizenship, or assist in that activity, will be investigated and prosecuted."

"Benefit fraud poses a significant vulnerability that must not go unchallenged," said Special Agent in Charge Weber. "Operation Knot so Fast should send the clear message that ICE and its law enforcement partners will not tolerate the exploitation of our country's immigration system. Whether you are marrying one person under false pretences or various people, or facilitating the fraud, know this: you will be found, arrested and held accountable for your actions."

"Marriage fraud will not be tolerated. It is a direct attack to the national security of the United Sates," said Director Redman. "The process of detection of marriage fraud begins the moment an application is submitted to our agency and later when a couple comes to our offices for a marriage interview. So, beware. The job of our adjudicators is not just to grant or not an immigration benefit. It is also, and most definitely, keeping our country secure."

These investigations were part of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces (DBFTFs). The task forces were created in March 2006, to target, seize illicit proceeds of and dismantle the criminal organizations that threaten national security and public safety and address the vulnerabilities that currently exist in the immigration process. Through DBFTFs, ICE partners with other agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, U.S. Postal Service, USCIS, the Department of State and various state and local law enforcement agencies. These task forces focus their efforts on detecting, deterring and disrupting both benefit fraud and document fraud.

Over the past four years, the number of document and benefit fraud investigations launched by ICE has increased from 2,334 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 to 3,591 in FY 2005, to 5,222 for FY 2006 and first half of FY 2007. Corresponding criminal indictments in these cases have increased from 767 to 875 to 1,595, while arrests have risen from 1,300 to 1,391 to 2010 and convictions have increased from 559 to 992 to 1,609.

These cases were investigated by ICE and USCIS. The following Assistant United States Attorneys are handling the prosecution of these cases: Tanya Davis Wilson, Daniel C. Irick, Carlos Perez, Dale Campion, Tysen Duva, Vincent Citro, Eduardo Toro-Font, Nicole M. Andrejko, Dan Irick, Bishop Ravenel, and Jesus Casas.

U.S. Attorney O'Neill thanked the following agencies for their assistance: ICE's Office of Detention and Removal; the U.S. Marshals Service; FBI; Daytona Beach Police; Volusia County Sherriff's Office, Brevard County Sheriff's Office; Orange County Police; Osceola County Police; Seminole County Sheriff's Office; Lake County Sheriff's Office; Kissimmee Police; Department of State Diplomatic Security; Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS); Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) and the United States Secret Service (USSS).

An indictment or complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until proven guilty.

-- ICE --

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

  Last Modified: Friday, May 9, 2008
These two paragraphs are from a May 13, 2008  FORBES Article from AP regarding Pilgrim food Processors

The company also had to deal with the loss of 400 workers from five of its plants who were taken into custody by Homeland Security agents on April 16. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the individuals detained were involved in identity theft and immigration-related crimes in order to gain employment in the country. The detentions were a result of a federal investigation after instances of identity theft were first discovered at Pilgrim’s Arkansas plant. (See Pilgrim's Pride Plucked In Immigration Raids)

Pilgrim’s Pride is not the only meat processor facing United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. In its largest raid in U.S. history, 390 people were arrested Monday on immigration charges at Postville, Iowa-based Agriprocessors, a large meatpacking plant that produces kosher and non-kosher products. The raid was aimed at seeking evidence of identity theft, stolen Social Security numbers and illegal immigrants.

While on the ICE site, I spotted the following about illegal workers.  Without being racist I hope, I want to express an opinion.
When you are a poor person from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras or another Central American country, their is NO social stigma to trying to get into the United States or Canada, being caught, thrown in jail, and sent home.  It is a way of life.
When you are a Canadian, it is a social stigma and extremely demoralizing.  I have had 45 year old men with $1,000,000 houses who have had it happen to them because they were caught working in the US illegally, and these men are unable to tell their families or anyone else what happened.  In 2000, I had one such man unload his story ion my television show and then got to his kids school to tell them because they did not know.
Try this roundup two days ago of illegal workers AND the EXECUTIVES who hired them. 

May 15, 2008

306 are criminally charged following the ICE enforcement operation in Iowa
Investigation results in largest criminal worksite enforcement operation in U.S.

WATERLOO, Iowa - A total of 306 people who were originally arrested on administrative immigration charges on Monday at Agriprocessors Inc., in Postville, Iowa, were charged criminally on Thursday. U.S. Attorney Matt M. Dummermuth, Northern District of Iowa, announced the criminal arrest total; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the investigation and made the arrests.

"Based on the number of criminal arrests, this is the largest criminal worksite enforcement operation ever in the United States," said Dummermuth.

Charges in complaints vary by individual and include allegations of aggravated identity theft, falsely using a Social Security number, illegally re-entering the United States after being deported, and fraudulently using an alien registration card.

"This has been an unprecedented undertaking in nearly all respects," Dummermuth said. "Since May 12, ICE agents, other law enforcement partners, and attorneys and support staff from my office have worked literally around the clock to process those administratively arrested in Postville and determine who would face criminal arrest. To have this completed within three days is phenomenal."

"This operation ran very smoothly thanks to the hard work and coordination of all agencies involved," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Bloomington, Minn. "At the same time, we worked closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and with attorneys representing the detainees to ensure detainees' rights were fully protected."

Those criminally charged have received court-appointed defence attorneys and have had initial appearances in federal court. Those detained on criminal charges are being held by the U.S. Marshals Service in local jails. Status hearings in the cases have been set for next week at temporary court facilities in Waterloo, Iowa.

Arnold reiterated that Wednesday night was the last night detainees would be housed overnight in Estel Hall in Waterloo. All detainees not arrested on criminal charges will now be held in ICE custody at other locations.

ICE administratively arrested 389 people on immigration charges on May 12. Of those 389, 62 were released on humanitarian grounds and 21 are being held on administrative charges. Eighteen of these 83 are juveniles (aged 13 to 17) who were released to an adult, or were turned over to the Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement. Those who do not face criminal charges will be placed into administrative immigration removal proceedings to be conducted at other locations.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

In addition to ICE and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa, other agencies that worked in the enforcement operation include: the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the FBI, Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Public Health Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Waterloo Police Department, and the Postville Police Department.

-- ICE --

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

and then you know how many times you get offers to sell you cheap software.  Well this fellow is looking at up to 27 years plus an up to $500,000 fine..

May 15, 2008

Oregon man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit software worth $1 million

WASHINGTON - An Oregon man pleaded guilty today to selling counterfeit computer software with a retail value of more than $1 million, in addition to aggravated identity theft and mail fraud, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Alice S. Fisher and Karin J. Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Jeremiah Joseph Mondello, 23, of Eugene, Ore., pleaded guilty to one count each of criminal copyright infringement, aggravated identity theft and mail fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken in Eugene. Mondello faces up to 27 years in prison, a maximum fine of $500,000 and three years of supervised release. Sentencing has been set for July 23, 2008.

According to documents filed in court, between December 2005 and October 2007, Mondello initiated thousands of separate online auctions, using more than 40 fictitious usernames and online payment accounts to sell copies of counterfeit software and receive the illicit money from those sales. Mondello generated more than $400,000 in personal profit as a result of the sales.

In addition, Mondello admitted to stealing individuals' identifying information to establish online payment accounts in their names. Mondello acquired victims' names, bank account numbers and passwords by using a computer keystroke logger program to surreptitiously obtain this information. The keystroke logger program installed itself on the victim's computer and then recorded the victim's name and bank account information as the information was being typed. The program then electronically sent the information back to Mondello, and he used this stolen information to establish the online payment accounts.

Including today's plea, the Department of Justice has secured 29 convictions involving online auction and commercial distribution of counterfeit software.

Mondello's case was investigated by ICE's Cyber Crimes Center and offices in Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Medford, Ore. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Marc Miller of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Sean B. Hoar, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.  The Software and Information Industry Association, a trade association that represents leading computer software companies, provided significant assistance to the investigation.

-- ICE --

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

  Last Modified: Thursday, May 15, 2008
I Hope this all helps -- I know it is overkill but don't go through with the phoney marriages, Even 'planning' it is a criminal offense.
One lady of my acquaintance married two different men in Hawaii to try and stay there.  Mr Anderson of the INS (Now Homeland Security) tracked her down both times.
Rent (and watch) the movie "GREEN CARD".  It is thirty years old now but the premise is the same and the penalties are far worse today.


david ingram's US / Canada Services
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pert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
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Phone consultations are $450 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. ($472.50 with GST if in Canada) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $3,000 for a dual country tax return.

$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,200 would be the same with one rental
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$3,000 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $200.00 up. However, if you have a stack of 1099, or T3 or T4A or T5 or K1 reporting forms, expect to pay an average of $10.00 each with up to $50.00 for a K1 or T5013 or T5008 or T101 --- Income trusts with amounts in box 42 are an even larger problem and will be more expensive. - i.e. 20 information slips will be at least $350.00
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $900 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be from $150 to $600.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc. Note that these returns tend to be informational rather than taxable.  In fact, if there are children involved, we usually get refunds of $1,000 per child per year for 3 years.  We have done several catch-ups where the client has received as much as $6,000 back for an $1,800 bill and one recently with 6 children is resulting in over $12,000 refund. 

Email and Faxed information is convenient for the sender but very time consuming and hard to keep track of when they come in multiple files.  As of May 1, 2008, we will charge or be charging a surcharge for information that comes in more than two files.  It can take us a valuable hour or more  to try and put together the file when someone sends 10 emails or 15 attachments, etc. We had one return with over 50 faxes and emails for instance. 

This is a guideline not etched in stone.  If you do your own TDF-90 forms, it is to your advantage. However, if we put them in the first year, the computer carries them forward beautifully.


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