LEWISTON — A city woman who was paid $900 to wed a Ugandan citizen in an effort to help him become a permanent U.S. resident is on probation for her part in the sham marriage.
Alice May, 26, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States and was sentenced last spring to a year of probation.
The man who plotted the scheme, Ronald Serunjogi, 35, of Saco, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland to four months in prison followed by four months of home confinement plus one year of supervised release on a charge of marriage fraud conspiracy. He was found guilty of the charge after a May jury trial.
May met Serunjogi in a grocery store parking lot on Oct. 22, 2008. There, Serunjogi introduced May to Samson Sengoonzi of Uganda, who was in the United States illegally.
At that time, Serunjogi was a conditional legal permanent resident of the United States as well as a citizen of Uganda.
Serunjogi told May he wanted her to marry Sengoonzi to help him achieve permanent resident status in the United States and said she would be paid for her efforts.
Serunjogi drove May to a notary public in Westbrook where she married Sengoonzi. After the wedding, she signed a petition for an alien relative at Sengoozi's request and she later participated in an interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in which she lied and said she lived with Sengoonzi in Saco, according to court files.
He wrote on his marriage certificate that he lived in Lewiston, but he actually lived in Saco. His application was rejected after authorities detected the fraud. Later, Sengoonzi was charged and convicted, then deported.