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Sham marriage gang jailed

A gang has been jailed after a 'sham marriage' web unravelled when one of the brides took her boyfriend on honeymoon, instead of her new husband.

Amanda Nolan was one of five people sentenced today for their involvement in fake weddings at Blackburn Register Office.

The bogus ceremonies were held to help immigrants settle illegally in the UK.

Our Lancashire reporter Amy Welch has the story.

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Sham marriage gang members sentenced

Five members of a gang from Lancashire have been sentenced over a sham marriage scam.

They were convicted of committing an act of deception to facilitate non-EU nationals to remain or enter the UK.

The charges relate to three sham marriages, which took place between October 2008 and October 2010 at Blackburn Registry Office and the Whitehall Country Club in Darwen.

The gang members and their sentences are:

  • Amanda Nolan, 28, of Windsor Road, Blackburn; 44 weeks suspended for 2 years
  • Jason Proctor, 40, of Princes Street, Blackburn; jailed for 10 months
  • Kevin Donnelly, 34, of Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle; jailed for 10 months
  • Denny Wallace, 22, of Preston New Road, Blackburn; 36 weeks suspended
  • Gemma Nelson, 28, of Whalley New Road, Blackburn; 36 weeks suspended

Sham marriage organiser jailed

Maria Lorero matched up brides from Portugal with grooms from India at Blackburn Register Office. Credit: ITV

A woman's been jailed after organised sham marriages to allow immigrants to settle in the UK.

Maria Lorero matched up brides from Portugal with grooms from India at Blackburn Register Office.

She earned about £10,000 for each illegal ceremony.

Immigration officers involved in the two year operation say each of the weddings could have cost the taxpayer a million pounds.

'Plant pot' cam captures wedding in Blackburn Credit: ITV

Officials used a 'plant-pot' camera at one register office in Blackburn to catch the sham marriages as they took place.

Armed with marriage certificates the grooms could then apply to the Home Office to regularise their stay in the United Kingdom and obtain benefits.

Ringleader Lorero's who disguised herself with a number of wigs pleaded guilty to planning 10 of these illegal marriages.

Loraro was jailed for 3 years and 9 months - 11 others were sentenced to a total nearly 15 years.

The grooms will be deported when they're released.

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