Massive Marriage Scam Uncovered in the U.S.

Photo by Zoriana Stakhniv on Unsplash

( – In Massachusetts, four people are facing charges in connection to a marriage fraud agency scam that was specifically aiming at illegal migrants trying to seek a green card. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts noted in a press release, that the four nationals from the Philippines, who were based in Los Angeles, had been arrested for fraud of immigration documents and marriages as they had allegedly been behind the creation of hundreds of fake marriages between illegal migrants. 

Authorities have argued that Marcialito Biol Benitez, 50, operated the agency from October 2016 to March 2022 from a brick-and-mortar office in Los Angeles. The scam marriages and having his client’s immigration status changed had cost up to $35,000 in cash. 

To carry out his scam, Benitez had also required other U.S. citizens who would receive a payment in exchange for marrying one of the agency’s clients. Using online officiants the agency was able to produce several fake wedding ceremonies in several locations, including chapels and parks. The agency would also take photos of their clients’ marriages which were then submitted along with the immigration petitions. 

Benitez’s business had also assisted migrants by providing them assistance with their fake marriages so that they could make them appear legitimate in front of citizens. The 50-year-old had also assisted the fake spouses by preparing them for the interviews they would have with immigration authorities. 

Apart from organizing the fake marriages, authorities noted that the business had “circumvented” immigration law by later claiming that the American spouses of their clients had been abusive.

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