bigamy crime; law fraud; immigration marriage fraud

Legal Warning: You Cannot Be Married To More Than One Person At A Time.

Too Many Marriages To Too Many People = Breaking The Law

For most people, their wedding day is one of the most important and special days of their life. They hope to have just one. Of course, some people just can’t get enough of a good thing, and that seems to be what happened with Liana Barrientos, the ten-time bride.

Ten Weddings and an Arrest

If she had simply taken ten marriages to find true love, that would have been one thing. However, she married ten different men in the span of eleven years, and she was not always divorced from the previous husband before marrying the next. Did she marry the men because she loved them? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, it looks like it was all part of an immigration scam. In the US, it is possible to marry a foreigner as a US citizen, who will then be able to get green cards and to become permanent residents.

Fraudulent Immigration Law Scams

The majority of the time, marriages between citizens and foreigners are legitimate and they are done for love. However, reports indicate that between 10% and 15% of the marriages are shams. In this case, the marriages definitely fall into the latter category.

Seven of the men that she married filed to become legal immigrants. One has received citizenship, while another was actually deported because of threats made against the US. The other husbands who were unable to gain permanent residency when married to Barrientos decided to divorce and marry someone else.

The authorities caught onto her game and charged her with a felony – filing a fraudulent marriage license application. She pled not guilty and was required to go to court for her hearing. She decided not to show, so the judge put out a warrant for her arrest. When she learned that she had a warrant out, she turned herself into the court. She also wrote an apology, but it was too late. The judge decided to keep her in jail.

What Could Happen to Her?

Currently, the only charge she is facing is filing a fraudulent marriage license. If the court finds her guilty of this crime, she could be going to prison for four years. However, she could also be charged with immigration marriage fraud. If that happens, then she could face additional time in prison, as well as a massive fine to the tune of $250,000.

Fraud Is Bad…

Committing fraud is a serious crime, and it appears that this ten-time bride is going to do the time. Most of the time, people who get into fraudulent marriages do so for potential money. People who want to become US citizens will pay a substantial amount of money to residents who will agree to marry them. It’s a loophole in the system, but it is one that will be nearly impossible to fix. After all, most of the people who get married actually do love one another and want to have a real marriage. Finding the fraudsters from the legitimate marriages is a full time job.

Wacky Wednesdays are brought to you by Kahane Law Office in Calgary Alberta. Kahane Law Office is an award winning full service law firm.