RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Fort Bragg soldier and his wife have been convicted of being involved in a sham wedding in exchange for $10,000.
United States Attorney Michael Easley of the Eastern District of North Carolina said the Fort Bragg Criminal Investigation Division received a tip in February 2019 that Samuel Agyapong, a Fort Bragg soldier, had agreed to marry Barbara Oppong, a 43-year-old citizen of Ghana living in New York, in exchange for the money.
Court documents said Agyapong agreed to receive $10,000 upfront while knowing he would also receive additional Basic Allowance for Housing benefits from the Army for having a dependent spouse.
Through the “sham” marriage, Oppong got her green card in January 2015.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said Oppong later filed an application for U.S. citizenship. Since the time of their marriage, court documents said the pair received about $110,000 in housing benefits.
Other evidence presented at trial showed that Oppong lived in New York while Agyapong lived in a home he owned in Fayetteville. An attorney argued that they hardly ever saw each other.
In addition, attorneys said Oppong’s paperwork left out the fact she had two children with another man.
Agyapong was convicted, sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $110,000.
Oppong, who was tried separately, faces a maximum 20 years in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced in November.