Posted on Wed, Oct. 07, 2009
last updated: October 21, 2009 06:12:14 PM
GREENVILLE -- Fort Bragg soldiers and Central Asian immigrants staged courtships and marriages to reap the benefits America gives those who get hitched, according to federal investigators.
The scheme has landed the several young soldiers and three foreign brides in the hot seat. This week, two of the soldiers and one of the brides pleaded guilty to marriage fraud in federal court; the crime could land each in prison for as long as five years.
The arrangements were tempting. By marrying an American, the women, immigrants of Russia and nearby countries, could stay in the United States indefinitely. The soldiers, young single recruits, would rack up extra pay afforded to married military members so they might live off base.