Massachusetts Illegal Immigrant Among Clients of Fake-Wedding Factory, Prosecutors Say

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A Philippines national living in Los Angeles helped coach hundreds of sham marriages between U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants to help the illegal immigrants get legal residency in the United States, federal prosecutors said.

For $20,000 to $30,000 per client, prosecutors say, the “agency” would provide fake documents and sham wedding clothes and photos and “would stage fake wedding ceremonies at wedding chapels and other locations,” according to the April 2022 indictment, which names six Philippines nationals, one Brazil national, and four U.S. citizens.

At least one illegal immigrant client was living in Massachusetts. The prosecution’s witness list for a trial that concluded Thursday included a woman described as “formerly of Saugus,” a town about 7 miles northeast of Boston.

Engilbert Ulan, 42, was convicted by a jury Thursday, November 30 in U.S. District Court in Boston of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and immigrant document fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s office for Massachusetts said in a written statement. Nine other defendants have already pleaded guilty, according to prosecutors.

After recruiting an illegal immigrant and pairing the person with a U.S. citizen as a fake spouse, the “agency” members would prepare them to answer possible interview questions from federal immigration authorities testing to see if the marriage was real.

Questions, according to the indictment, included:


Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?

What is the color of your spouse’s toothbrush?

What is your major purchase since you moved in together?

How many TVs?

Who do you spend Christmas with?

How much did you pay your spouse in this marriage?

Is there someone helping you?


“Agency” members emphasized that the fake couples must give “THE SAME answers” to the questions and “should show GOOD CHEMISTRY during the interview” in order “to prove that the marriage is genuinely true,” according to an image from written evidence presented by prosecutors.

The ring served at least 600 clients between October 2016 and March 2022, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Sentencing for Ulan is scheduled for March 6, 2024. He could be sentence to up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and could get fined up to $250,000.


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