Homeland Security Attorney Guilty In Bribery Scandal
APRIL 21, 2010
A senior attorney at the Homeland Security agency that enforces immigration laws and protects the U.S. against terrorist attacks has been convicted of three dozen corruption-related charges for posing as an immigration judge and accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from illegal aliens.
The assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Constantine Kallas) had already been indicted by a grand jury with 75 counts, including bribery, money laundering, federal worker’s compensation fraud and a series of other serious crimes related to accepting hefty cash bribes from dozens of foreigners seeking documents to stay in the U.S.
This week a federal jury in Los Angeles found Kallas guilty of conspiracy, six counts of bribery, two counts of obstruction of justice, seven counts of fraud and misuse of entry documents, three counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of making false statements to the Department of Labor, four counts of making false statements to obtain federal employee compensation and four counts of tax evasion. The disgraced government official faces hundreds of years in prison.
Kallas accepted bribes of as much as $20,000 in exchange for helping illegal immigrants who were often in the midst of deportation proceedings. He even took a $7,000 bribe from his housekeeper and got a smuggling case against her daughter dismissed. The crooked official also set up two fake companies and filed false employment petitions with the federal government for dozens of illegal immigrants.
When federal agents searched his home they found a hidden floor safe with nearly $200,000 in cash and dozens of official immigration files. They also found a ledger with the names of more than 60 illegal immigrants and the amount they had paid to remain in the U.S. “legally.”
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.
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