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A woman from Lee’s Summit is among three Kenyans indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a marriage fraud conspiracy, federal prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City said in a news release.
Nellie Mbote, 35, was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City May 21.
The federal indictment alleges Mbote and two other individuals entered in fraudulent marriages arranged by Delmar Dixon of Kansas City. Mbote married in 2009.
Mbote is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of making false statements, one count of making a false oath in a matter relating to naturalization and one count of unlawfully procuring citizenship.
The two other individuals charged were Rogers Onyango Guche, 39, of Cypress, Texas; and Fidelina Mwelu Mutisya, 59, of Winchester, Ohio. Guche and Mutisya married their spouses in 2007.
The marriages were designed to bypass federal immigration laws, the indictment says, to obtain permanent residency and/or United States citizenship.
Mbote, Guche and Mutisya allegedly paid Dixon to arrange their marriages.
The three defendants allegedly paid their U.S. citizen spouses $1,000 at the time of the wedding and $100 each month until the immigration process was complete.
Dixon and others allegedly coached Mbote, Guche, Mutisya and their spouses on how to make their marriages appear legitimate, by making it appear as if the couples were living together and encouraging the couples to get to know each other.
Dixon was charged in a separate but related case. He was sentenced in July 13, 2017 to three years in federal prison after admitting he arranged 30-40 fraudulent marriages.
Mbote was arrested Tuesday morning and had an initial court appearance later in the day. The indictment contains a revocation of citizenship. If convicted, Mbote’s naturalization will be revoked and her certificate of naturalization canceled.
Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, who will determine guilt or innocence.