BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Undercover law enforcement busted two citizens of India trying to get married in Hamburg for a green card.

Dishant Patel, 24, and Shweta Patel, 23, who both were living in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the time, are facing a conspiracy to commit marriage fraud charge.

It’s alleged that both Patels tried to fraudulently get married to an American citizen at Hamburg Town Hall in January 2022. It turned out the Americans were undercover officers, according to the United State Attorney’s Office. Both were arrested and charged.

The charges come after U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced an attorney from Illinois and a “marriage broker” from Connecticut pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.

“The immigration law is broken and people are desperate to come to the United States,” said Rosanna Berardi, a local immigration attorney who says what stands out to her in this illegal immigration case is that it happened here.

“It’s something that we see over and over and over again, what’s alarming is why Hamburg, New York? You usually see these types of things in bigger metropolitan areas like New York or Miami,” Berardi added.

Additionally, Vishal Chhabria of Illinois and Delaina Shaw of Connecticut have pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy for arranging the fake marriages, so that foreign nationals from India and the U.K. could get green cards. According to the criminal complaint, the pair were paid tens of thousands of dollars for “gathering and manufacturing false and fraudulent documentation, by coaching the couples to falsely and fraudulently hold themselves out as legitimately married.”

“It is always a bit heartbreaking to hear these stories to hear of people being exploited and paying large, large sums of money in order to gain a federal immigration benefit,” Berardi said.

Three out-of-state residents have been charged in this fake marriage scheme. Chhabria could get five years in prison and a six-figure fine when he is sentenced in March.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.