Feds: 7 plead guilty in marriage fraud conspiracy ring

Updated: Apr. 21, 2017 at 3:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Seven people have entered guilty pleas in connection with a federal case alleging marriage fraud.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, seven people pleaded guilty in federal court on charges of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.

Sonia Santaella Vieira, 55; Adalberto Viera, 60; Claudia Santaella Ferreira, 53; Sidnei Ferreira, 58; Amanda Santaella Ferreira, 27; and Colby Musser, 31 all entered pleas in this case.

Federal investigators said the defendants were involved in a conspiracy involving a number of Brazilian undocumented immigrants who paid U.S. citizens to enter into marriages to receive citizenship.

Officials said five of these marriages were a sham and that the defendants were paid $20,000.

The seven defendants could receive 5 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and a special assessment of $100.

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