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A senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was sentenced on March 21 to 212 months in federal prison for taking nearly $500,000 in bribes from immigrants who were promised benefits that would allow them to remain in the United States.
United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. sentenced ICE assistant chief counsel Constantine Peter Kallas, 40, to 17.5-years in prison, and ordered him to pay $296,865 in restitution that he allegedly fraudulently received in worker’s compensation benefits.
“Mr. Kallas has received one of the longest sentences ever seen in a public corruption case,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Mr. Kallas took in hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, money he obtained by exploiting his knowledge of the immigration system. The lengthy sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes, which were a wholesale violation of the public trust.”
Following a three-week trial, a federal jury convicted Kallas last April of three dozen felony counts, including conspiracy, six counts of bribery, two counts of obstruction of justice, seven counts of fraud and misuse of entry documents, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Kallas was also convicted of 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.
Kallas has been in a federal custody since August 2008, about two months after he was arrested by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino. Kallas was arrested after he took a $20,000 bribe from an immigrant during an incident that was captured on casino surveillance cameras.
Maria Kallas, the defendant’s wife, has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 2.
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