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Feds Charge Seattle Thai Restaurant Chain Owner With Sham Marriages

Sure love is blind. But federal authorities aren’t. And they say some folks here were ordering up sham marriages.

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By GENE JOHNSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer
SEATTLE
— The owner of a Seattle area chain of Thai restaurants pleaded not guilty Tuesday to paying four of her workers to enter into sham marriages allowing three of her relatives and another Thai national to stay in the U.S.

Varee Bradford, who operates five Thai Ginger restaurants, was arrested Tuesday on one count of immigration fraud conspiracy and three counts of immigration document fraud. She was released on her own recognizance after entering her plea in U.S. District Court.

A grand jury indictment says three workers were paid $10,000 to more than $20,000. Another, who had been promoted to management, was loaned $3,780. The three men and one woman allegedly were told the marriages would only have to last two years, until their spouses received green cards.

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