Crime

Kansas City woman guilty in fake marriage scam involving African citizens

A Kansas City woman who was paid to enter into a sham marriage with an African man has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge.

Kakeland Barnes, 37, is the fourth defendant to plead guilty to participating in the marriage fraud conspiracy.

Members of the conspiracy were U.S. citizens who were paid to marry citizens of African countries so they could circumvent U.S. immigration laws.

The African citizens were charged $1,000 up front by the organizer of the scheme. They then paid their “spouses” $500 at the time of their weddings and $500 after the marriage.

They then paid the spouses $250 each month until the immigration process was completed.

Barnes is the fourth person to plead guilty in the case and faces a sentence of up to five years in prison.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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