Federal and North Carolina investigators closed the door on another sham marriage ring set up at Fort Bragg, NC. The investigation resulted in grand jury indictments for both active duty and former soldiers stationed at the base. 

The charges state that the accused were involved in a criminal organization designed to fraudulently wed foreign nationals to soldiers. The sham marriages were arranged by a middleman.

The purpose of the fake marriages was to offer foreign citizens a clear path to citizenship and soldiers the opportunity to move off base and collect thousands of dollars in Basic Allowance for Housing pay.

The Army’s Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and Homeland Security’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) were responsible for the investigation. The DBFTF, based in Raleigh, has members from several state and federal agencies.

Investigators found that this latest marriage scam involved both current and former service members in the Fort Bragg area and foreign nationals mainly from Ghana, Nigeria, and the U.K.

The exact number of people involved was not disclosed, but court documents point to the involvement of at least seven known participants, and the possibility of at least 10-15 fraudulent marriages. The grand jury issued more than 10 subpoenas to individuals involved in the case.

A Ghanian citizen, Joshua Kwame Asane, 45,  is accused of marrying a soldier with the sole intention of gaining legal permanent residency in the U.S. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, visa fraud, false statement in an immigration proceeding, and preventing testimony of a person in an official proceeding. If convicted he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Joshua Asane’s sham spouse, a sergeant stationed at Fort Bragg, told the investigators that the first time she met Asane was in front of the Cumberland County Courthouse on their marriage day. She was first introduced to Ebenezer Asane her “husband’s” brother who was the middleman in the scheme.