Four Jacksonville Resident Arrested and Charged for Immigration Fraud

Local News Jacksonville,

Four Jacksonville residents have pleaded guilty to fraud charges and will face prison time. U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the resident were born in the Philippines and were working together to get United States citizenship through marriage.

The accused are identified as Mark Laurence Barlaan, 36, and Winnie Rabaya Barlaan, 65, Peter Laforteza Barlaan, 63, and Mary Helen Amaba Barlaan, 32. Mark and Winnie pleaded guilty to marriage fraud and they would have to face a maximum penalty of five years in prison each. Peter and Mary pleaded guilty to obtaining U.S. citizenship by fraud and both of them would face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mark and Mary Barlaan have assented to leave the country after the completion of the legal proceedings and the prison time.

Thew court documents show that Winnie and Peter Barlaan are naturalized U.S. citizens. But to speed up their citizenship process, they married the other two Barlaans.

After the investigation, the officials gathered that Mary and Mark Barlaan were in a relationship before they left the Philippines. Prosecutors said that Mary came to the U.S. in November 2007 on a visitor’s visa and Mark arrived in … MORE

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