Feds charge 27 with marriage fraud

Federal prosecutors Tuesday charged 27 South Florida suspects with marriage fraud, including organizers, recruiters and unlawful immigrants.

The main defendants — Inaldo Chavez, 57, of Hialeah, Caridad Baez, 50, of Hialeah and Masiel Puron, 33, of Marathon — are accused of charging a fee to arrange fraudulent marriages between U.S. citizens and undocumented aliens.

The trio are also accused of notarizing phony marriage licenses, completing necessary immigration paperwork and preparing the participants for their interviews with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

While they were arranging the fraudulent marriages between 2011 and 2014, Chavez and Baez also tried to obtain naturalization illegally, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The case was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.