NEW BERN, N.C. – A Norfolk man has been convicted on charges of visa fraud related to a sham marriage and other immigration crimes along with trying to obstruct the testimony of a witness in an official proceeding.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, 46-year-old Joshua Kwame Asane, a citizen of Ghana, was indicted on July 22, 2020, for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, visa fraud, false statements in immigration proceedings, and tampering with a witness.
Evidence presented at the trial revealed that the marriage between Asane and a U.S. soldier stationed at Fort Bragg was arranged by Asane’s brother.
Officials say his brother, Ebenezer Asane, who was previously indicted for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, has plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Asane and the soldier submitted fraudulent applications to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting Asane’s adjustment of status as a lawful permanent resident in the United States, officials say.
Asane and the soldier were interviewed at the USCIS office in Norfolk where they both attested under oath that they were married in good faith.
As a result of the interview, USCIS found indicators of fraud, and referred the case to USCIS, Fraud Detection and National Security, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for investigation.
In a split decision, the jury found Asane guilty of visa fraud, false statements in immigration proceedings, and tampering with a witness, and not guilty of conspiracy and marriage fraud.
Asane faces maximum penalties of 25 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for his convictions of visa fraud, false statements in immigration proceedings, and witness tampering.
His sentencing date is scheduled for September 7.