Usually, a flirtatious text between intimate partners doesn't spark a federal investigation.
Unless the text was from someone other than the person claiming to be your husband, who you filed a green card application for, and it came up while the interviewing USCIS officer was looking at your phone. Yup, that's right.
Prince Mark Boley, a Liberian national and Providence, RI resident, is currently on trial and being charged with fraud-related counts after USCIS officials don't believe that his marriage to US Citizen Amanda Hames-Whitman was because of love. They believe he did it to get a green card after overstaying his visa.
Boley and Hames-Whitman visited the Johnston, RI USCIS office on June 8, 2017, for their interview. USCIS interviewed the two separately, and when Hames-Whitman pulled out her cell phone to show the officer their proof of contact was when a text from "Chriss" came in.
“During the interview, Whitman was showing the officer some texts from Boley on her cell phone when a new text came in from ‘Chriss’ reading, ‘We had the best sex ever,’ ” the filing said.
After the flirtatious text came in from someone who was not her supposed husband, Hames-Whitman admitted to having sex with Chriss about a month before the interview.
Although the text was a big red flag, the interviewing USCIS officer said it was only one of many.
Hames-Whitman told the interviewing officer that she had recently moved to Burrillville, R.I. from Lincoln and that Boley also was living at the new address. Boley said in his interview that he still resided at the Lincoln address, according to prosecutors.
Hames-Whitman mentioned that Boley had slept at his sister's home the night before, but Boley said he had slept at Whitman's place.
“The Fraud officers visited Whitman at the [Burrillville] apartment ... that she claimed to share with Boley,” the memorandum said.
“His name was not on the mailbox, and Whitman acknowledged that his name was not on the lease either. The only men’s clothing in the apartment was a pair of dress pants and two shirts. Whitman said Boley kept his work clothes in his car as well as his passport and other immigration papers. There were no men’s toiletries present. Whitman admitted that Boley had been living with his sister in Providence.”
Caught in a lie, Whitman flipped her story.
“She confessed that the marriage with Boley was entered solely to obtain him a green card,” the filing said.
“She said that they had never lived together and had never had a physical relationship. She said that Boley had put the few articles of clothing in her apartment to give evidence of residency and had put the insurance for her car and the utility bills for her apartment in his name to give a paper record of residency there. She also gave a short handwritten statement that the marriage was never real.”
According to the government, Whitman is cooperating with prosecutors and won’t be charged for her role in the alleged fraud. She also claimed she didn’t receive any money from Boley, who was introduced to her by Boley’s niece, according to prosecutors.
Lesson learned, don't fake marriage for immigration purposes.