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17 Year Sentence Given to Former ICE Attorney for Taking Bribes
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Constantine Kallas, former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorney, and a prominent one at that, received an over 17 year federal prison sentence on Monday, March 21, for taking bribes from immigrants.  He was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter in Los Angeles to pay $296,865 in restitution.  Although 17 years is one of the longest sentences ever given in a federal bribery conviction, the federal prosecutors in the case originally sought for an over 29 year conviction in the case.

H. Dean Steward, Kallas’s lawyer, a solo practitioner based in San Clemente, CA, plans to appeal the conviction of his client and the sentence.  He says that he thinks that the “U.S. attorney’s office … lost all perspective of fairness in the case literally years ago. And whenever you’ve got a 30-year recommendation from them in a white-collar, first-time, nonviolent offender, they should be embarrassed.”

  
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U.S Attorney André Birotte said the following about the case, “Mr. Kallas has received one of the longest sentences ever seen in a public corruption case.  Mr. Kallas took 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 wholesale violation of the public trust.”

Last year, Kallas was convicted of 36 charges, including aggravated identity theft, bribery, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and making false statements to the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to prosecutors, approximately $425,854 was taken in bribes by Kallas from 2003 to 2008.  An additional $300,000 was attempted for by Kallas in false claims made for workers compensation and tax credits.

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His wife also pled guilty to several charges on November 16, 2009, and is scheduled for sentencing on May 2 of this year.





 

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