The marriages were short and not for love.
But instead of a Las Vegas-style, alcohol-fueled ceremony, these marriages were criminal schemes.
Authorities announced Monday that nearly 100 people have been indicted in a massive conspiracy in which immigrants paid as much as $70,000 to briefly marry a U.S. citizen and obtain a permanent resident card known as a “Green Card.”
The indictment, returned by a grand jury in Texas late last month, accuses 96 people of taking part in the Houston-based criminal organization, which created sham marriages between legal U.S. residents and aliens, mostly from Vietnam, for years.
Officials said the spouses only met briefly and usually immediately before getting their marriage license, but sometimes they didn’t meet at all.