Federal authorities say two women from the Garden State have been indicted in connection with a scheme to arrange sham marriages between legal and non-legal citizens so they could remain in the country.

55-year-old Andrea Torres and 57-year-old Regina Johnson, both sisters and both from Newark, are facing one count of conspiracy to encourage and induce non-citizens to remain in the United States illegally.

WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Officials say from 2016 to 2019, Torres and Johnson devised a scheme to arrange and facilitate sham marriages for non-citizens who wished to remain in the United States, even though they were here illegally.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger says,

"They recruited U.S. [citizens] as potential spouses and paid them a fee in exchange for those U.S. citizens entering into sham marriages with Torres’ and Johnson’s non-citizen clients. Torres and Johnson arranged for the “couples” to obtain fraudulent marriage licenses and even arranged and charged their clients for wedding ceremonies and afterparties that were staged to make the sham marriages appear legitimate."

Beyond that, the duo allegedly advised their clients on ways to make their marriage appear legitimate, including tips on opening joint bank accounts and occasionally meeting to take pictures in various public places to document the relationship.

Once "established," Sellinger's office says the sisters helped their non-citizen clients fill out immigration forms to obtain permanent residency.

If convicted, Torres and Johnson face up to a decade behind bars and a $250,000 fine.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

25 Christmas songs performed by NJ artists

If you celebrate Christmas, the next month of your life is likely going to be consumed with shopping for gifts, retrieving a tree, decorating the house, and going out on adventures to see elaborate light displays.

The one thing that you must have at the ready for all of these scenarios is Christmas music.

Since a lot of the songs you hear tend to get repetitive this time of year, why not pay homage to some of the great singers, bands, and musicians that make New Jersey's music history so rich.

Want to take these songs on the go with you? Here's the Spotify playlist.

9 delicious ways to enjoy a Jersey bagel

You'd be hard-pressed to find a Jersey bagel without at least one of these.

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM