Man sentenced for marriage fraud involving Lewiston woman

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.

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Comments

Mike Lachance's picture

Consiracy to Defraud The US Govt.

Consiracy to Defraud The US Govt.

Wow. Perhaps now we can start uncovering the rest of this and other similarly abhorrent activities defrauding not just the US Govt, but State and Municipal Govt along with the taxpaying citizens who are being fleeced while footing the bill. Isn't it time to start uncovering, investigating, charging and prosecuting those who are perpetrating, enabling and profiting from such abuse. It's time to expose and repair the systemic holes in our system; a system that we have allowed to be abused right under our noses.

Or not.

After all, there is no problem, right?

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Please explain..............

I go shopping quite a bit, I've met numerous folks in the parking lot, as well as in the store. The conversations are generally the same, short and polite, not much more. Could someone explain to me how you can meet someone in a parking lot, and somehow have the conversation go from, how nice the weather we're having is, to will you be willing to marry my friend, the illegal alien. I just can't grasp the idea of a casual conversation going in that direction. I also can't believe she even did it, never mind for just $900.00.....................
That's it, I'm doing more of my shopping on line...................................

CAROLYN LIBBEY's picture

For all she had to do, $900

For all she had to do, $900 was nowhere near enough compensation.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Wanna bet?

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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