An Edmonton man is accused of agreeing to marry a woman for money so she could stay in Canada, the first time charges relating to a "marriage of convenience" have been laid in Alberta.

Gilbert Leland Platts faces the unusual charges of misrepresentation and counselling misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Officers charged Platts last week after receiving a tip two years ago, said Sean Best, with the Canada Border Services Agency.

"They are very complex cases," he said. "They are very difficult to secure sufficient evidence to bring them to court."

The woman — whose country of origin was not disclosed — was to pay Platts $5,000 to marry her, Best said.

Platts, who faces a possible fine of up to $100,000 or up to five years in prison, is scheduled to appear in Edmonton provincial court on March 20.