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Local Man Convicted of Marriage Fraud

Centreville resident Yong Hyon Kim, 50, pleaded guilty last week in federal court to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and making false statements to federal agents.

Kim — both a Korean national and a lawful, permanent U.S. resident — was indicted on Nov. 17, 2011 by a federal grand jury on those two charges, as well as alien harboring, inducing an alien to come to the United States and immigration document fraud.

Kim owns the 395 Collision Center in Springfield and, in a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, he admitted recruiting his general manager to enter into a fraudulent marriage with his (Kim’s) girlfriend so she could remain in the U.S. She was actually an illegal alien from South Korea, but Kim claimed she worked at his business.

After the marriage, Kim then helped his girlfriend obtain immigration benefits and purposely misled U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services into believing that the marriage was legitimate.

Furthermore, Kim also lied to federal agents who were investigating the fraudulent marriage when he claimed that he was not dating his girlfriend. Authorities say he agreed to forfeit more than $29,000, as well as the Mercedes that he used for transporting his girlfriend.

Kim entered his guilty plea last Thursday, Jan. 19, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria before Judge Anthony J. Trenga. He’s slated to return for sentencing, April 13, when he could receive as much as 10 years in prison.

Investigating this case was U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Frank and James S. Yoon are prosecuting it on behalf of the United States.

By Bonnie Hobbs

Centre View