Joshua Shonubi, a Nigerian preacher, is currently on trial in the United States for reportedly falsifying paperwork to a federal government agency in order to illegally obtain permanent residence status for foreign people by arranging marriages with US citizens.
Shonubi, the pastor of New Life City Church in Maryland, has been accused with visa fraud and conspiracy to conduct marriage deceitfully.
The indictment was issued on October 20, 2021, and the accused’s arrest resulted in the indictment being unsealed.
The 50-year-old preacher is scheduled to appear in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson in US District Court in Baltimore on Saturday.
The lawsuit was announced by US Attorney Erek L. Barron, the Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore, James R. Mancuso, and the District Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Gregory L. Collett.
Per the seven-count indictment, Shonubi, pastor of Newlife City Church, Inc. in Hyattsville, Maryland, conspired to defraud the government immigration benefits for foreigners by organising their marriage to US citizens who represented as their sponsors for permanent resident status in the US from at least January 2014 to January 2021.
Shonubi is also accused of officiating or arranging for a legal marriage ceremony to be done in Virginia in some of the fake marriages. Shonubi was also accused of generating and signing at least 38 reference letters on NewLife letterhead in endorsement of foreign nationals’ applications for permanent residence, dishonestly stating his relationship to the parties, the essence of the marriage, his capacity to give spiritual guidance or counselling, and his belief in the intimate nature of the marriage, according to the indictment.