Woman charged with a federal offence relating to false marriages gets Bond

Manny Conditsis, Senior Trial Advocate and Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law, represented our client, a young woman was prosecuted in the District Court by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions [CDPP] with four (4) Commonwealth offences relating to participation in a false marriage and enticing other females to do likewise. Our client participated in a sham marriage with a person of Indian descent and was paid a relatively small amount of money for her involvement.

The Crown asserted that the woman was part of a syndicate whereby Indian organisers, with contacts in the Department of Immigration would arrange false marriages between Indian men and Australian women to facilitate the granting of citizenships [to these Indian men].

The CDPP pressed for a full-time prison sentence.

Our client admitted to taking some money for the sham marriage but said she did not know it was a criminal offence. Of course, ignorance of the law is not a defence, however, in appropriate cases it has relevance to the sentencing outcome.

Although the woman pleaded guilty, the defence case presented at sentence was that our client had been “taken advantage of” by manipulators in the syndicate.

Mr Conditsis’ skilful negotiation of Agreed Facts, persuaded the Judge that the woman had turned her life around and was somewhat naïve as to the position she found herself in; and these factors were critical to the outcome – no prison sentence.

Our client was sentenced to a Commonwealth recognisance [Bond], rather than a prison sentence.

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