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North Carolina man sentenced to prison for marriage fraud and conspiracy

A former soldier from Fayetteville was sentenced May 27 to 44 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. On August 18, 2020, Ebenezer Yeboah Asane, aka “Ben,” pleaded guilty to marriage fraud and conspiracy.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Asane, 37, operating from Fort Bragg and his home in Fayetteville, planned and organized the sham marriages of several foreign nationals from Ghana to U.S. Army soldiers based at Fort Bragg.

“The purpose of the conspiracy was for the foreign-born nationals to evade U.S. immigration laws and obtain lawful permanent residence status and for the soldiers to receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) to live off post, as opposed to the barracks,” stated the release.

“Asane recruited additional soldiers into the fraudulent scheme to orchestrate photographs to give the appearance the marriages were legitimate and to submit false statements to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in support of the sham marriages,” the release continued. “Once charged, Asane also attempted to obstruct justice by asking a witness he knew had been called to testify to lie under oath.”

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Criminal Investigation Division at Fort Bragg and the EDNC Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel Diaz prosecuted the case.

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