LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles man has been found guilty of arranging phony marriages for Nigerians in order for them to become permanent U.S. residents.
The U.S. attorney's office says 46-year-old Alake Ilegbameh (ah-LAH'-kay ill-egg-BAHM'-ay) was convicted Wednesday of six counts of conspiracy to violate immigration laws. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Ilegbameh recruited six American citizens to marry African immigrants for pay — typically $1,000 or more — then counseled the couples to open joint bank accounts and take other steps to make the marriages appear genuine.
Authorities say Ilegbameh also arranged for the couples to see attorneys to file the immigration paperwork.