2 indicted in alleged sham marriage scheme - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

2 indicted in alleged sham marriage scheme

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Two Chicago-area residents have been indicted for allegedly trying to secure U.S. citizenship for foreign nationals through sham marriages to Americans, some of which occurred in Las Vegas.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago alleges that clients paid up to $15,000 for marriages to Americans recruited by Terestia Zarrabian of Des Plaines and Michael Smith of Bellwood. Zarrabian is an immigration consultant.

The 60-year-old Zarrabian and 41-year-old Smith were charged after an undercover agent posed as a U.S. citizen willing to enter a phony marriage. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The pseudo couples were allegedly advised how to answer immigration officials' questions to convince them the marriages were legitimate.

A message left for Zarrabian's attorney wasn't immediately returned Monday. There was no answer at a phone number for Smith's attorney.

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