Description: WAco, TX - Judge Sentences U.K. Citizen and City of Austin Employee in Marriage Fraud Scheme
A federal judge sentenced Nancy Chan, a 39-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom and City of Austin employee, for perpetrating a marriage fraud scheme.
On January 19, 2017, a federal jury convicted Chan of one count of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. On July 27, 2017, United States District Judge Alia Moses sentenced Chan to 12 months imprisonment on each count. Both sentences are to run concurrent. In addition, Chan also was sentenced to a 3-year supervised release term after she completes her prison sentence.
During Chanís two-day trial, two co-defendants entered guilty pleas for their roles in the scheme. Isabel Metzler, a 46-year-old former Customs and Border Protection officer at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Metzlerís husband, Luis Morales, a 37-year-old former Customs and Border Protection officer at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.
Testimony during trial revealed that after discussing her immigration status with her friend, Isabel Metzler, Nancy Chan entered into a fraudulent marriage agreement with a person known to Metzler and Morales for the purpose of becoming a lawfully permanent resident. On March 2, 2011, in Maverick County, Chan married the U.S. citizen. In 2014, Chan and her legal spouse submitted false documentation to obtain Lawfully Admitted Permanent Resident (LAPR) status for Chan and to seek naturalization. Chan and her spouse were subsequently interviewed separately by an officer of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine the validity of their marriage. Their answers to questions posed by the officer contained numerous inconsistencies, which revealed that the marriage was a sham.
By pleading guilty, Metzler admitted to her role in setting up and attempting to conceal the fraudulent marriage scheme. Morales admitted that on February 9, 2016, he lied to Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility investigators about his knowledge of the marriage fraud scheme and for convincing the spouse to maintain the marriage charade to authorities.
Metzler faces up to five years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Morales faces up to five years in federal prison for making a false statement to authorities. Metzler and Morales remain on bond pending sentencing scheduled for October 17, 2017.
This case was investigated by the Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility together with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Austin Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Patrick Burke, Todd Keagle, and Chris Blanton are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on each count. Both sentences are to run concurrent. In addition, Chan also was sentenced to a 3-year supervised release.