RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Fort Bragg soldier and his wife are accused of being involved in a sham wedding in exchange for $10,000.
United States Attorney Michael Easley of the Eastern District of North Carolina says the Fort Bragg Criminal Investigation Division received a tip in February 2019 that Samuel Agyapong, a Fort Bragg soldier, agreed to marry Barbara Oppong, a 43-year-old Ghana citizen 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 their marriage, court documents said the pair received about $110,000 of undeserved BAH benefits.
Other evidence presented at trial showed that Oppong lived in New York while Agyapong lived in a home he purchased in Fayetteville. An attorney argued 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 separately tried at a prior trial. He was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison and restitution of more than $110,000.
Oppong faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Her sentencing hearing scheduled for the November 15 term of court.