Virginia man convicted in New Bern of visa fraud, witness tampering

Crime Tracker

NEW BERN. N.C. (AP) — A Virginia man has been convicted on visa fraud charges related to a sham marriage to an Army soldier, and trying to obstruct the testimony of a witness, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a news release on Monday that Joshua Kwame Asane, 46, was convicted by a federal jury in New Bern, North Carolina, on Friday.

Evidence revealed that the marriage between Asane and a U.S. soldier stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was arranged by Asane’s brother, Ebenezer Asane. He was previously indicted for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Asane and the soldier were married in Cumberland County, the news release said. The couple submitted fraudulent applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requesting Asane’s adjustment of status as a lawful permanent resident, prosecutors said. Both attested under oath they were married in good faith, but the interview revealed evidence of fraud, and the case was referred to other agencies.

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 and a fine of $250,000 for his convictions of visa fraud, false statements in immigration proceedings, and witness tampering. Sentencing is set for the court term beginning on Sept. 7.

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