If a picture accompanies the story, we can see that Varee Bradford is from the Far East, and Google tells me that people named Varee are from Thailand. (Google always helps with the answer to the traditional American question "What kind of name is that?" since the press, for ideological reasons, refuses to tell you.)
The Associated Press SEATTLE –
An owner of a chain of popular Seattle-area Thai restaurants has pleaded guilty to immigration charges, admitting she recruited U.S. citizens to engage in sham marriages with Thai nationals.
The point of the marriages was to allow the Thai citizens to obtain legal status to stay in the United States.
Varee Bradford 44, of Sammamish, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and three counts of fraud relating to immigration documents. Bradford is an owner of the "Thai Ginger" restaurants.
She faces a maximum five years in prison on the conspiracy count, and a maximum 10 years on the fraudulent document counts. Sentencing is set for Jan. 22.
According to the plea agreement, the U.S. citizens were paid $20,000.
Federal prosecutors say that in late 2007, Bradford told a U.S. citizen who was actually an undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent that she would pay him $20,000 for entering into a sham marriage.
A Thai restaurant site will tell you that Mrs. Bradford was born in Thailand, and is married (non-sham—they were in the restaurant business together) to an American citizen. But the Associated Press can't be bothered.