Nearly 100 people charged in Houston in marriage fraud scheme

HOUSTON, TX (CNN) - Federal prosecutors in Texas have indicted nearly 100 people in a massive marriage fraud scheme.

The scheme allegedly involved arranging marriages for immigration papers and had operations in Houston and Vietnam.

According to heavily redacted government documents, close to 100 people are accused of participating in a long-running scheme for sham marriages.

Investigators say a house in Houston was the epicenter where Ashley Nguyen allegedly recruited American Citizens to marry Vietnamese Nationals in order to obtain legal residency.

Her defense attorney says, "The government in these detention hearings always tries to make, you know, these really salacious kinds of statements and arguments, as well as making a point to let the judge know she is a naturalized citizen, as though that carries less weight as somebody that has been born here."

Attorney Marc Carter decried the government’s heavy hand at not only arresting his client but also Nguyen’s daughter.

Nguyen’s common-law husband was arrested as well.

The indictment even ensnarled a lawyer, Trang Le Nguyen who allegedly helped file documents to make the marriages look legitimate.

Other defendants are accused of everything from flying to Vietnam to marry their supposed spouses to making fake photo albums to show a relationship, all of which defense attorneys deny.

It is still unclear what evidence the feds will be able to gather from the home but Nguyen’s attorney says helping people is not a crime.