Ethiopian Couple Sentenced for Arranging Sham Marriage | NECN
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Ethiopian Couple Sentenced for Arranging Sham Marriage

Prosecutors say they offered a U.S. citizen $25,000 to marry a relative from Ethiopia

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    Ethiopian Couple Sentenced for Arranging Sham Marriage
    FILE - Getty Images/Tetra images RF

    An Ethiopian husband and wife living as legal permanent residents of the U.S. have received two years' probation for arranging a sham marriage so a relative could live legally in the country and for tax fraud. 

    Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Girma Tilahun and 54-year-old Wudnesh Wolde, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, were also ordered Tuesday to pay more than $230,000 in unpaid taxes, and to reimburse the federal government $62,000 in illegally obtained housing subsidies. 

    Prosecutors say they offered a U.S. citizen $25,000 to marry a relative from Ethiopia. That relative came to the U.S. in 2012 but never lived with his "wife."

    Tilahun worked as a dispatcher for a cab company and was often paid in off-the-books cash, income he didn't report to the IRS. He also lied about his income to receive subsidized housing.

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