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Date: 04-18-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Joshua Shonubi

Case Number: 1:21-CR-417

Judge: Deborah L. Boardman

Court: The United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Baltimore County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office in Baltimore

Defendant's Attorney:

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Baltimore, Maryland criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Conspiracy to Commit Visa and Marriage Fraud and a charge of Aggravated Identity Theft.

Joshua Shonubi Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Commit Visa and Marriage Fraud

Joshua Shonubi, age 59, of Bowie, Maryland, was sentenced on federal charges of Conspiracy to Commit Visa and Marriage Fraud and a charge of Aggravated Identity Theft.

The Defendant, who was a pastor at New Life City Church, used his position of trust to recruit church members who were U.S. Citizens to marry foreign nationals for financial compensation. The Defendant accepted payment from the foreign nationals for facilitating these marriages. The Defendant used his role as a pastor to recruit and groom economically disadvantaged United States citizens to marry these foreign nationals and then sponsored them for permanent residence in the United States.

In furtherance of the fraud, the Defendant created false documentation and submitted it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services so that the fraudulent marriage would be accepted and the foreign national could apply for lawful permanent residency, and later United States Citizenship. Among other things, the Defendant submitted letters written on his church letterhead asserting under oath that he had performed and officiated the weddings himself. The Defendant also procured and submitted fraudulent leases and paystubs to support the façade that the marriage between the U.S. Citizen and the foreign national was legitimate. Between June 2008 and June 2021, the Defendant facilitated over 60 fraudulent marriages and submitted well over 100 fraudulent documents in support of his scheme.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the HSI and USCIS for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Elizabeth McGuinn, who prosecuted the federal case.

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Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison

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