Bribing the Wrong Person

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The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) publishes an annual report titled, FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals, which details statistics on the identification and removal of criminal undocumented immigrants. The report states that during 2013, ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals of which 59 percent, or 216,810, had been previously convicted of a crime. (That’s a scary statistic.) FoxBaltimore.com reports on a story about a Maryland immigration attorney, who attempted to help a foreign national obtain illegal immigration documents for a sum of $50,000. Unfortunately, for the foreign national, the immigration bribed the wrong person.

The 59-year-old attorney, who operated his own law firm in Windsor Hills, charged his client $170,000 in cash to bribe a ”public official,” who actually turned out to be an undercover immigration agent. (Supposedly, the ”public official” was willing to provide immigration documents.) The lawyer’s ”take” for the scheme was to be $50,000. The immigration lawyer also had previously offered to pay the same ”public official” another $5,000 to have a different foreign national removed from the U.S.

The fraudster was caught, and he pleaded guilty to bribery. He faces a 15-year sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Immigrants desiring lawful entry into the U.S. need a good Immigration lawyer, preferably one that can provide sound legal counsel. Unfortunately, this immigrant picked the wrong guy – one that resorted to bribery, so he could skim some money off the top for personal use. Also, apart from being a fraudster, this lawyer’s actions could have threatened national security. Fortunately, the undercover agent caught him red-handed and the integrity of the legal processes set up to enable the lawful entry into America and ensure our security, was maintained in this case.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Windsor Mill Attorney Pleads Guilty to Bribery,” published on FoxBaltimore.com on December 16, 2013.

BALTIMORE – An attorney from Woodbine has pleaded guilty to bribery and one of his clients has pleaded guilty to immigration fraud.

“Immigration attorneys hold positions of public trust and it is disturbing that anyone would defraud the very system in which they work for their own personal profit,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge in Baltimore William Winter. “Document and benefit fraud poses a significant vulnerability to our national security and exploits America’s legal immigration system.”

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.