Woman gets 366-day prison term for arranging fake marriages


The federal court has slapped a 12-month and one day imprisonment against Qiong Lu Pua, a woman who was convicted for orchestrating two sham marriages so that her brother and friend could obtain green cards.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Aamona V. Manglona said after completing the prison term, Pua shall serve three years of supervised release.

Manglona ordered Pua to pay a $4,000 fine and $100 in special assessment fee immediately after sentencing, and perform 50 hours of community service.

After her release from jail, Pua shall also be delivered to Immigration for removal proceedings, among other conditions.

Pua, a Chinese citizen, is a legal permanent resident of the United States.

Manglona ordered Pua to contact the U.S. Marshal’s Office in Guam every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by telephone to determine the date for her to self-surrender.

Assistant U.S. attorney Russell Lorfing, counsel for the U.S. government, and U.S. probation officer Margarita Wonenberg both recommended a sentence of 18 months imprisonment and a $4,000 fine.

Attorney Benjamin Petersburg, counsel for Pua, recommended no jail time and that she serve a term of three years probation.

Manglona asked Pua if she had anything to say before sentence is pronounced, but attorney Mark Hanson, co-counsel of Petersburg, stated that their client, for purposes of appeal, was advised not to make any statements at this time.

Due to Pua’s minor child, the prosecution agreed to have the defendant remain at liberty pending the designation of a prison facility.

Last July 31, a federal jury found Pua guilty of the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

In 2005, Pua obtained a legal permanent resident status after marrying Juan Pua, a U.S. citizen. After the indictment was filed, she was arrested in Guam, where she is staying.

Pua’s co-defendants Norma F. Nekaifes and Benigno Mettao both pleaded guilty. Nekaifes and Mettao were sentenced to three years of probation.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.