NOVEMBER 14, 2008
A high-ranking attorney at the Homeland Security agency that enforces immigration laws and protects the U.S. against terrorist attacks has been indicted by a grand jury for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from illegal immigrants seeking American citizenship.
The assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had been arrested in June after a lengthy federal probe and, this week, a grand jury delivered a 75-count indictment charging him with bribery, money laundering, federal worker’s compensation fraud and a series of other serious crimes.
Federal authorities say that the assistant chief ICE counsel (Constantine Kallas) and his wife, who has also been indicted, accepted hefty cash bribes from dozens of foreigners seeking documents to stay in the U.S. In fact, when he was arrested at a southern California Indian tribe casino, Kallas had just accepted a $20,000 bribe.
Kallas and his wife also set up two fake companies and filed false employment petitions with the federal government for dozens of illegal immigrants and at least two legal residents. Nearly $1 million beyond Kallas’ government salary had been deposited in his bank accounts in the last few years, presumably bribe money.
Similar internal corruption has infested other Homeland Security agencies responsible for protecting the nation against foreign threats in the last few years. However, the problem has been most rampant on the front lines rather than the corporate offices like in this case.
Corruption is so widespread among federal officers guarding the U.S.-Mexico border that the government created an internal web site devoted to recently convicted border agents. Dozens of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been bribed with cash and attractive women to assure the safe passage of truckloads of illegal immigrants, drugs and other contraband into the U.S.
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