Massachusetts man pleads guilty to 6 sham marriages

Peter Hicks, 58, told investigators he participated in sham marriages arranged by others for money, and said he was paid to recruit others to do the same.

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to entering into six sham marriages with foreign women over a 10-year period to help them skirt U.S. immigration laws.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that 58-year-old Peter Hicks pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to marriage fraud. Sentencing was scheduled for December.

Federal prosecutors say Hicks, of Worcester, married the women from sub-Saharan African nations between 2003 and 2013 and filed for immigration benefits for four of them. Some were in the U.S. illegally.

He told investigators he participated in sham marriages arranged by others for money, and said he was paid to recruit others to do the same.

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He said outside court he is “very remorseful,” and was motivated by “easy money” and a desire to better the lives of the women.