False paternity claims big usiness on French St. Martin

POSTED: 10/24/11 1:56 AM

MARIGOT, St. Martin – False paternity statements are the order of the day in French St. Martin, the newspaper St. Martin’s Week reported on Friday. Men with the French nationality routinely provide women from countries like Jamaica and the Dominican Republic with acknowledgements of paternity. By doing so, the children of these women obtain the French nationality and also the rights to social benefits. The mothers also become entitled to residency. The women pay French men for their services in cash or with sexual favors, the newspaper reported.

Vice-procureur Jacques Louvier told the newspaper that there is not a real organization behind the fraud, but that the information about obtaining French nationality for children circulates in circles of foreigners.

The newspaper refers to a case of a man who actively recruited women as they left the maternity clinic in Marigot. He collected more than €7,000 (more than $9,600) per month in state child support. The court in Marigot sentenced the man to a 6-month suspended prison sentence and a €10,000 ($13,700) fine. Another man was sentenced to a 6-month suspended prison sentence for falsely claiming paternity of children with three different women.

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