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Alberta man charged with marriage scam

EDMONTON - An Edmonton man has been charged with marriage fraud in what the Canada Border Services Agency says is a first in Alberta.

The agency alleges 60-year-old Gilbert Leland Platts of Edmonton was to get money from his foreign bride for the phoney relationship.

"It's alleged that he entered into an agreement with this woman that she would pay him $5,000 to marry her and then she would be able to get a permanent residency status in Canada," spokesman Sean Best said Tuesday.

"It's alleged that he had already received a portion of that money and he would receive the other portion at the time she did receive her status in Canada."

The agency started investigating in April 2012 after receiving a tip about a possible scam marriage.

Best said he couldn't reveal details about the woman, including which country she is from.

The court charges list the woman as Venus Platts.

The Immigration and Refugee Board said Venus Tandog Platts, a woman in her late 30s, received an exclusion order last May requiring her to leave Canada. Records show the Philippines native entered Canada as a worker in 2007 and married in 2010.

Gilbert Platts is charged with misrepresentation and counselling misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. He faces a maximum fine of $100,000 or up to five years in prison.

He is to appear in an Edmonton court on March 20.

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