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MORE VICTIMS - American men beware
LAWRENCEVILLE "” For the second time in less than two weeks, a man has been jailed for having more brides than you could count on one hand.
William James Fairley, 34, of College Park has apparently pledged lifelong devotion to eight women since February 2005. The fraud came to light this week after officials at Gwinnett County Probate Court began combing through their files looking for anyone who recently applied for multiple marriage certificates, according to Detective Marcus Head of the Gwinnett County Police Department.
The search was prompted because last week police discovered another man, 37-year-old Alvin Lorenzo Murdock, allegedly committed bigamy by marrying six women in Gwinnett County. Investigators believe both Fairley and Murdock were saying "I do" to help their wives obtain U.S. citizenship.
In both cases, the wives are from Africa. Several of the women whom Fairley wed were from Ghana, Head said.
"We've tapped into some evidence that suggests this may be part of an immigration scam," Head said.
Police have only been able to contact three of Fairley's wives, all of whom claimed they didn't know he was already married. It was unclear how Fairley stood to profit from the scheme.
"There is no evidence to suggest the wives did know, other than the fact that some of them haven't seen him in six months," Head said. "I have no idea what the payoff for him was, or what kind of behind-the-door dealing has occurred."
No charges have been filed against any of the wives, although they could face federal or state charges if the investigation reveals they were aware of the fraud, Head said.
Fairley has reportedly been cooperative with detectives. He turned himself in on Thursday evening on seven felony counts of bigamy and seven felony counts of false swearing. He is being held on $39,900 bond.