Criminal Justice

Lawyer charged in marriage-fraud scheme operating in US and Vietnam

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A Texas lawyer is among nearly a hundred people charged in an alleged marriage-fraud scheme that was intended to help immigrants gain admission to the United States.

Pearland, Texas, lawyer Trang Le Nguyen, also known as Nguyen Le Thien Trang, has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, obstructing justice and tampering with a witness, according to the indictment, filed May 8 in the Southern District of Texas.

Prosecutors say Nguyen helped prepare documents with false statements for at least one of the fraudulent marriages. She is also accused of advising a party to a sham marriage to go into hiding after she provided information to law enforcement. and the Houston Chronicle have coverage; a press release is here.

Trang Le Nguyen, also known as Nguyen Le Thien Trang. Photo from the Pham & Nguyen Law Group.

Prosecutors say the ring had associates acting throughout Texas and Vietnam. Beneficiary spouses would pay $50,000 to $70,000 to obtain permanent resident status in the United States, according to the Department of Justice press release. U.S. citizens were recruited for the marriages.

The ring created fake wedding albums, along with fake tax, utility and employment information to provide for immigration authorities.

Nguyen, a 2010 graduate of the South Texas College of Law in Houston, is a lawyer with the Pham & Nguyen Law Group.

One of Nguyen’s lawyers, Jed Silverman of Houston, told the ABA Journal that his client has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting formal discovery from the U.S. attorney’s office.

Nguyen and her defense team “look forward to her day in court,” the lawyers said in a press release.

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