A former immigration prosecutor will spend nearly 20 years in prison for taking bribes from illegal immigrants who wanted to remain in the U.S. An L.A. federal judge handed down the sentence in a closed hearing.
U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte announced the sentence after the hearing – saying the 212-month sentence is one of the longest in a federal corruption case. It underscores what former ICE lawyer Constantine Peter Kallas did: for a price, the 40-year-old Kallas would game the system so illegal immigrants could avoid deportation.
He used all kinds of tricks – Kallas set up illegal immigrants in jobs in phony companies; he went to court and got a judge to dismiss deportation proceedings against an immigrant; Kallas even stopped deportations by simply stealing files.
Federal prosecutors say he pocketed more than $400,000 in bribes – plus thousands more through phony workers comp claims and tax evasion. Kallas has to pay back about $300,000.
His wife was in on the schemes. Like her husband, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bribery and money laundering; she’ll be sentenced in May.