Ajia Strauss a 28-year-old New Jersey woman,on Thursday February 13 pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to the defrauding the United States.
Strauss who was arraigned before a Pittsburgh federal court, admitted entering into a sham marriage with a Nigerian man who was living in Pittsburgh so he could become a permanent resident.
Prosecutors said 36-year-old Monsuru Ogunbiyi returned to western Pennsylvania where he was already living after the marriage was conducted in New Jersey on June 3, 2016. It was gathered that asides paying Strauss $1,500 for the fake marriage, they falsified documents, made untrue statements to Citizenship and Immigration Services, staged loved up photos, claimed they lived together and also opened a joint bank account.
Both were busted after Ogunbiyi filed for permanent residency status in 2017. Text messages in which they discussed about Strauss’ address and learning more about each other before the fake marriage were obtained by authorities.
The duo were indicted in July 2019 and the Nigerian man who pleaded guilty to same offence in December 2019, has already served two and a half months in jail and is also likely to be deported.
Strauss sentencing is going to be in Pittsburgh on June 3. She could face up to five years in prison and a sum of $250,000 in fines, say the authorities.