A man has admitted being paid £1,500 to marry a 24-year-old Vietnamese woman.
Kevin Donnelly, 34, of Thwaites Road, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty to being involved in his own sham marriage and witnessing a fake wedding.
He admitted marrying 24-year-old Vietnamese woman Trang Thi Thuy Luu – known as Louise – at Blackburn Registry Office in October 2008.
A hearing at Preston Crown Court heard how Donnelly received the money at a time when he was homeless and had a drink and drug habit.
Two other sham marriages took place between October 2008 and October 2010 at Blackburn Registry Office and Whitehall Country Club, Darwen.
Amanda Nolan, 28, of Windsor Road, Blackburn admitted having her own sham marriage with 24-year-old Tuan Hoang Luu.
And Jason Procter, 40, of Princes Street, Blackburn was found guilty following a trial of going through with a false marriage to 23-year-old Thi Le Quyen Le.
Donnelly had also received £500 to act as a witness at Procter’s wedding, the court heard.
Denny Wallace, 22, of Preston New Road, Blackburn had pleaded guilty to being a witness at Nolan’s sham wedding and Gemma Nelson, 28, of Whalley New Road, Blackburn, admitted being a witness at Donnelly’s wedding.
They were all convicted of committing an act of deception to facilitate non EU nationals to remain or enter the UK.
All five defendants appeared together at Preston Crown Court on Thursday, February 28. Police said after the hearing that they were tracing the whereabouts of the Vietnamese nationals, including Dat Van Vu – wanted in connection with the document offences in relation to the marriages.
Miss Elizabeth Nicholls, prosecuting, told the court that none of the defendants in the dock were involved in organising the sham weddings.
She told the court that the three sham marriages had been arranged so Vietnamese nationals could apply to the Home Office for a visa to remain in the UK.
Miss Luu – described in court as the ‘spider at the centre of the web’ who managed nail bars in Preston, Blackburn and Chorley – was marrying Donnelly so she could remain in the UK.
She is wanted by police in connection with the incident.
Mr Mark Stuart, defending Donnelly, said his client had accepted full responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse.
The court had also heard how the sham marriages were exposed after Amanda Nolan went on holiday to Mexico with another man – shortly after being involved in a sham wedding with a Vietnamese national.
Donnelly and the other defendants will be sentenced on Tuesday, March 12 at Preston Crown Court.