Former immigration officer convicted of bribery
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Aug 12, 2014
A former immigration officer in Santa Ana, Calif., was convicted in federal court this month for taking bribes from Cambodian immigrants in exchange for immigration benefits, the Justice Department announced.
The former officer was convicted of felony counts of conspiracy to commit bribery and defraud the United States, bribery, conspiracy to witness tamper, and witness tampering. His wife also was convicted of witness tampering.
The events in question in the case occurred when the former immigration officer worked in the Santa Ana federal building in the Fraud Detection and National Security unit between 2005 and August 2008.
"The evidence showed that during that time, as part of the scheme, the Cambodian immigrants were promised permanent legal status," DOJ stated. "The Cambodian immigrants were present in the United States without legal status. The immigrants typically paid approximately $5,000 in cash for the permanent legal status."
In exchange, DOJ said, the officer stamped immigration documents, giving the immigrants temporary legal status in the United States.
According to DOJ, evidence at trial showed that following the officer's original indictment in June 2013, he and his wife tampered with two of the witnesses identified in the original indictment.
The officer could be sentenced to as much as 95 years in prison, DOJ said.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Forensic Laboratory cooperated in the investigation .