LADY AT THE BAT: What A Scam!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

What A Scam!

There's a story on ESPN.com today about marriage. It turns out that in 2005 a marriage-for-visa scam was uncovered by the U.S Consulate. At least 15 minor league players and their "wives" had their visas permanently revoked for trying to to smuggle aliens into the United States.

Here's how the scam worked: A man, sometimes claiming to be a lawyer, would visit the home of a young player preparing to get a baseball work visa. Assuring the young player that everything was perfectly legal, the man would offer him a few thousand dollars to marry a woman he'd never met and to take her to the US on his work visa. On the other side of it, the families of the women would pay fortunes to intermediaries, who would pocket as much of $15,000 per "bride." Suspicions mounted after it was noticed that so many players had been married around the same time and most of them had the same witness present at the ceremony. Upon further investigation, their visas were permanently cancelled, they were banned from the US and their hopes of a lucrative career in America went down the drain.

According to ESPN, at least seven Major League teams were caught up in the scam: the Angels, Devil Rays, Orioles, Pirates, Rangers, Royals and Yankees. Each of these teams had players who were found to have been a part of the fraudulent scheme, types of which are not uncommon in the poverty-stricken Dominican. There is a possibility that this particular scam is part of a larger, human-trafficking ring, whereby Dominican woman are sold into prostitution all over the world. Officials continue to investigate.

"Outside The Lines," the ESPN Sunday morning news program, will have a complete story about the scam, tomorrow at 9:30 ET. I don't think I'm going to watch it. I'll just end up in tears. Seeing desperate people in developing countries gettting screwed just tears me up inside. It's bad enough when someone outside your ethnic group does it to you, but to be f'd over by your own is the ultimate slap in the face.

The Lady

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