Trinis convicted on marriage fraud

Monday, January 20, 2020 - 19:30

Two Trinida­di­ans, a pas­tor and an Army sergeant have been con­vict­ed of con­spir­a­cy to com­mit mar­riage fraud as part of an il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion scheme, ac­cord­ing to fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors in the Unit­ed State.

Ra­jesh Ram­cha­ran, 45; Di­ann Ram­cha­ran, 37; Sgt. Gal­i­ma Mur­ry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty on Thurs­day af­ter a nine-day ju­ry tri­al, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Col­orado.


An ar­ti­cle in The Den­ver Post stat­ed that the con­spir­a­cy in­volved ob­tain­ing im­mi­gra­tion ben­e­fits for Ra­jesh Ram­cha­ran, Di­ann Ram­cha­ran, and one of their mi­nor chil­dren.

A mar­ried cou­ple in 2007 came to the U.S. from T&T on vis­i­tor visas. They over­stayed the visas and set­tled in Col­orado.

In 2010 the cou­ple was mar­ried by Harvell, who signed a mar­riage cer­tifi­cate, the re­lease said. The cou­ple then filed for di­vorce.

Five days af­ter the di­vorce was fi­nal­ized, Harvell signed a new mar­riage cer­tifi­cate for Di­ann Ram­cha­ran and Sgt. Mur­ry, a U.S. cit­i­zen and Fort Car­son sol­dier at the time.

“Di­ann Ram­cha­ran and Sergeant Mur­ry en­tered in­to this mar­riage for the pur­pose of evad­ing im­mi­gra­tion laws and en­abling Di­ann Ram­cha­ran to stay in the Unit­ed States,” the re­lease said. Mur­ry ob­tained mil­i­tary ben­e­fits through mar­riage.

In 2015 Ra­jesh Ram­cha­ran mar­ried An­gel­i­ca Gue­vara, al­so a U.S. cit­i­zen. Harvell signed their mar­riage cer­tifi­cate as well.

“Dur­ing the time of both the Ram­cha­ran's’ fraud­u­lent mar­riages to Mur­ry and Gue­vara, the Ram­cha­rans lived with each oth­er and oth­er­wise pre­sent­ed them­selves to the world as a mar­ried cou­ple,” the re­lease said.

Harvell is a se­nior pas­tor with South­east Bap­tist Church of Col­orado Springs, ac­cord­ing to the church’s web­site.

Gue­vara ear­li­er plead­ed guilty to the con­spir­a­cy. She tes­ti­fied at the four co-de­fen­dants’ tri­al be­fore Se­nior U.S. Cir­cuit Judge David M. Ebel.

A sen­tenc­ing date has not been set.

Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant