Date: February 5, 2020
PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Monroeville pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.
Makhan Singh pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in and around 2011 through in and around October of 2018, Makhan Singh conspired with his brother Rajinder Singh, and United States citizen Dawn Haroulakis, to knowingly facilitate or enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading the immigration laws. The court was further advised that Makhan Singh offered to pay Ms. Haroulakis if she would marry his brother, Rajinder Singh, so that Rajinder, a native and citizen of India, could obtain legal permanent residency in the United States. Ms. Haroulakis agreed to the sham marriage, and Makhan Singh then made payments of more than $15,000 to Ms. Haroulakis in exchange for her marriage to Rajinder Singh.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for August 6, 2020. The law provides for a total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. The defendant remains on bond pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Christy C. Wiegand is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
This investigation was conducted by the Pittsburgh Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF). The DBFTF is a multi-agency partnership established to focus on high-impact criminal investigations involving the use of fraudulent documents in furtherance of immigrations benefit applications and petitions, financial fraud, criminal work-site enforcement, and public benefits fraud. The Pittsburgh DBFTF consists of the following agencies: the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General, US Department of State-Diplomatic Security Service, US Department of Agriculture- Office of the Inspector General, US Department of Labor- Office of the Inspector General, and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.