Iowa siblings plead guilty to sham marriage immigration deal

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A Waterloo brother and sister have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to arrange a sham marriage so he wouldn’t have to leave the United States.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Selmir Salkanovic and his sister, Salena Dedic pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. Their sentencings have not been scheduled.Court records say Salkanovic is a Bosnian who overstayed his tourist visa. He’d promised to leave the country in June last year but instead, with his sister’s help, married a U.S. citizen after making a $5,000 deal with her.

Federal law lets immigrants who marry U.S. citizens receive conditional residency status, which can lead to citizenship.

The records say Salkanovic and the woman never consummated the marriage and never lived together. It’s unclear whether the woman’s been charged.