Ex-CBP Officers Gets Probation for Role in Sham Marriage Scheme

CBP officer (Photo: CBP via Twitter)

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer has been sentenced to two years of probation for her role in a sham marriage to help a childhood acquaintance from the Philippines gain citizenship. 

Katherine De Leon Evaristo, 39, of Washington, agreed to the marriage in exchange for $20,000. 

After Evaristo applied for a fiancé visa, she and the Philippines man got married in San Diego in 2015. She and her fake spouse repeatedly lied about the marriage to try to obtain citizenship, prosecutors said. 

Evaristo got busted after landing a job at CBP’s Office of Field Operations and using her position to inquire about her husband’s immigration status. According to prosecutors, she improperly used her access to a federal law enforcement database to check on the immigration status of her fake husband. 

CBP officers became suspicious because she was dating another person. 

She admitted her role in the scheme in 2021. 

Evaristo was indicted in September 2021, and she pleaded guilty in May 2022. On Friday, she was sentenced. 

Prosecutors recommended a probationary sentence, noting she was the single parent of infant twins. 

“Evaristo has experienced significant consequences of her crime that go beyond a custodial sentence: She lost her job at CBP—a job she spent years securing and that afforded her a comfortable income—and now works a lower-wage warehouse job,” prosecutors said. “These consequences along with the restricted liberty of probation reflect the seriousness of the crime and are likely to deter any future criminal conduct,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.”

In a statement, Paul Crawford, special agent in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility, said, “As evidenced by the outcome of this investigation, CBP OPR and our partners are committed to identifying and mitigating threats.”

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