DENVER – A Fort Carson soldier, a pastor and two immigrants have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, accused of scheming to gain citizenship benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45, Diann Ramcharan, 37, Sgt. Galima Murry, 31 and pastor Ken Harvell, 60, were convicted Thursday following a nine-day trial in Denver, officials said.
Prosecutors said the Ramcharans, a married couple from Trinidad & Tobago, came to the United States on visitor visas in 2007 and settled in Colorado. After their visas expired, Harvell signed a marriage certificate for the couple, who then filed for divorce, a news release said.
Five days after the divorce, Harvell signed a marriage certificate for Diann Ramcharan and Murry, the Army sergeant from Fort Carson. Prosecutors said Ramcharan and Murry married to evade immigration laws, allowing Ramcharan to stay in the United States.
Murry also received military benefits by claiming the marriage.
Several years later, in 2015, Rajesh Ramcharan married a woman named Angelica Guevara, a U.S. citizen. Harvell also signed the marriage certificate for Ramcharan and Guevara.
Despite their separate marriages, the Ramcharans continued to live with each other and present themselves as a married couple, prosecutors said. Guevara pleaded guilty in the case and testified about her marriage at trial.
“As the defendants in this case learned, marriage fraud to gain citizenship is a crime,” U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said in the news release. “There are lawful ways for individuals to become citizens of the United States. Those who try to circumvent those laws will be held accountable.”