US: Indian-Americans among 8 pleading guilty in immigration scam


Tarunkumar and Sachin Patel wanted to find a way so that more of their friends and business associates from India could get permanent legal status to remain in the United States. But they admitted Monday their plans were federal crimes. Now they and up to 17 others face prison time.

The men said that in 2011 they arranged four sham marriages between their friends and American women the two Patels had met. The two are business acquaintances. Then in 2014, Tarunkumar Patel said he began bribing a Mississippi police officer to create false crime reports in an effort to immigration authorities to grant them special visas for victims of certain types of crimes.

The Patels, former Jackson officer Ivory Harris and lawyer Simpson Goodman pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Jackson to conspiracy charges, as did two of the men who benefited from the fake police reports. The Patels and Goodman face up to 10 years in prison, having pleaded guilty to both marriage fraud and the police report fraud.

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