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£20m marriage scam uncovered

Several members of a north London solicitor's firm face jail for their part in a £20m fake marriage scam [15 February 2013]

20m-marriage-scam-uncovered-feb1320m-marriage-scam-uncovered-feb13Three men have been found guilty of conspiracy to breach immigration law and receiving proceeds of crime.

More than 1,000 men, including members of the Albanian mafia, were able to live in Britain by taking part in sham marriages arranged by the solicitor's firm. 

Men would pay the law firm up to £14,000 to arrange the marriages. Often they would use fake identity documents to evade police at home, in the scam which went on for over eight years. 

The scam was uncovered when suspicions were raised about the number of couples marrying at Cambridge Registry Office, despite having no links to the city.

The scam involved flying in women in from Eastern Europe to marry men outside of the EU. They turned up at registry offices having never met, and were sometimes unable to speak a common language. The women would be housed in an east London tower block before being taken to registry offices across the country.

Read more about the scam on the BBC website. 

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If you are a victim of fraud you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.