A Maine woman who received hundreds of dollars in exchange for marrying a man from Nepal pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to conspiring to commit marriage fraud to evade U.S. immigration laws.

Marena Mushero, 28, of Hampden, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for agreeing to marry a citizen of the South Asian country whom she met in an online forum.

U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank said in a statement that Mushero posted an advertisement on the online forum in which she offered to marry a person in need of permanent resident status in the United States in exchange for money.

According to court records, Mushero received a response to her offer on June 13 from the Nepalese man who was lawfully in the U.S. but living in another state. Mushero agreed to marry him in exchange for cash payments so that he could get a green card. A green card allows a person to live and work permanently in the U.S.

The couple were married in Brewer on June 25. Before and after the wedding Mushero continued to receive hundreds of dollars via wire transfers from the man, who continued to live and work in another state. In his statement, Frank did not identify the Nepalese man.

The Brewer Police Department and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations department investigated the marriage fraud case.


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