A Nigerian woman, Euphemia Chinyeaka Okeke, based in Louisville, Kentucky in United States, faces a 10 year jail term after admitting she unlawfully obtained citizenship by entering into a sham marriage with a Houston man.
Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez said Euphemia Okeke, 41, admitted to marrying a Houston resident and U.S. citizen while in Nigeria.
She then applied for an immigrant visa and alien registration based on that marriage, claiming her permanent residence would be Houston.
However, shortly after she arrived in the United States, Okeke conceived a child and lived in Louisville with Kenneth Okeke, a Nigerian citizen with no legal status to reside in the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Okeke have since lived in Louisville and have two children together there.
In her application for naturalization, however, she testified under oath and penalty of perjury that since arriving in this country, she continuously lived in Houston with her purported husband and no one else, had not lived in any other place in the United States and had no children. She became a naturalized citizen on Sept. 14, 2011.
Less than a month later, Euphemia Okeke filed for divorce. She married Kenneth Okeke two weeks later and filed a petition for alien relative in an attempt to obtain lawful immigration status for him. In that petition, she stated under oath and penalty of perjury that she was divorced two years before she actually was and that she had lived and worked in Louisville since arriving in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon accepted the plea and has set sentencing for Aug. 4, 2017. At that time, Euphemia Okeke faces up to 10 years in federal prison and possible revocation of her citizenship.
Kenneth Okeke is currently in deportation proceedings.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Goldman is prosecuting the case.