Samuel Manu Agyapong
According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, a former Fort Bragg soldier was sentenced to more than a year in federal prison on Thursday for his role in a nationwide marriage fraud.
Mr. Samuel Manu Agyapong was sentenced to 18 months in jail and three years of supervised probation on Thursday, according to court records. In July, he was found guilty of theft of government property, interfering with a witness, visa fraud, conspiracy to conduct marriage fraud, and aiding and abetting naturalization fraud after a trial in which he testified against himself. In addition, according to court documents, Agyapong went under the moniker Sammy Tuga.
Federal investigators claim that Agyapong, a naturalized citizen of the United States from Ghana, went into a false marriage with Ghanaian national Barbara Oppong in order to get food and lodging allowances from the United States Army in Afghanistan. Oppong would receive a lawful permanent residency card, sometimes known as a green card, in exchange for her services. In 2015, the couple tied the knot in New York City.
Officials stated that Agyapong acquired a residence in Fayetteville while Oppong resided in New York, and that they seldom, if ever, traveled to visit one another and that they never entered into a legally binding marriage.
According to the press release, Agyapong and Oppong submitted bogus applications to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, seeking that Oppong be granted lawful permanent residency in the United States, which she was granted in the end. According to authorities, Agyapong got a total of $110,000 in housing and food allowances throughout the length of the scheme, which was based on the fictitious marriage.
In June of 2020, he was a sergeant assigned to the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at the time of his arrest. Currently, the brigade is on a long-term mission in Africa, and it dispatches teams of soldiers there on a rotating basis.
One hundred and ten persons were charged in connection with the plan, including Agyapong and Oppong.
There are still charges pending against Oppong, including conspiracy to conduct naturalization fraud, assisting and abetting the wrongful disposition of United States property, two counts of helping and abetting naturalization fraud, and three counts of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.