According to prosecutors, 57-year-old Peter Hicks married 6 different women from sub-Saharan Africa between 2003 and 2013 to help them obtain legal status in the United States. “During a routine interview as part of his application for benefits for a non-citizen spouse, Hicks admitted to marrying three of the women solely to obtain immigration benefits for them,” A criminal complaint from the US Attorney’s office alleges. After his confession, Hicks had another interview with immigration officials in January 2015, and allegedly confessed to making money from the fraudulent marriages, according to the complaint.
“Hicks admitted that he was involved in marriage fraud for approximately 13 years, and that he received payments to marry undocumented African women and to find willing United States citizens to marry illegal aliens for the purpose of allowing the women to establish legal status in the United States,” the complaint alleges. In one of the incidents, the complaint alleges, Hicks was still married to one woman at the time of his marriage to another one.
“Hicks also fraudulently claimed on an immigration form submitted on behalf of one of his spouses, that he had only one former spouse and that he had only petitioned for immigration benefits for the one former spouse, when, in fact, Hicks had actually been married five times and submitted requests for immigration benefits for a number of his former spouses,” the complaint states. Hicks made his initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday and faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.