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Ex-soldier sentenced to prison in marriage fraud case

February 24, 2022 GMT

NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) — A former soldier at Fort Bragg has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his part in sham marriage and trying to obstruct the testimony of a witness, according to a federal prosecutor.

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said in a news release on Wednesday that Samuel Manu Agyapong, 34, also received three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $110,948 in restitution to the U.S. Army.

In July, Agyapong was found guilty of theft of government property, tampering with a witness, visa fraud, conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, and aiding and abetting naturalization fraud.

A tipster alerted Fort Bragg U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division that Agyapong, a naturalized U.S. citizen and soldier, was engaged in a sham marriage with Barbara Oppong, a citizen of Ghana who was unlawfully present in the U.S., the news release said. Agyapong agreed to go through with the sham marriage to obtain an allowance for housing for him and a lawful permanent resident card for Oppong.

Once they married in January 2015, Agyapong and Oppong submitted fraudulent applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requesting Oppong’s adjustment of status as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S., which she received.