U.S. Citizen pleads guilty in Cambodian marriage fraud scheme

Justin Michael Martin of Kentucky pleaded guilty to commit marriage fraud and is facing a possible sentence of 10 years with $500,000 in fines. Martin was set up by Michael Chanthou Chin to travel to Cambodia and marry Yota Em, a Cambodian national. He agreed to marry Yota so she could avoid U.S. immigration laws for a compensation of about $7,000. When he visited Yota in Cambodia all of Martins expenses were paid and when they returned to the US, Yota was his fiancé and she had a K-1 visa. They then lied to immigration officers reporting their marriage was legitimate and Yota gained her full U.S. residency. By June of 2009 the couple was divorced.

Due to their separation and marriage fraud, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is presently looking for Yota Em, currently a fugitive in the US.