Federal Agents Indicted in Immigration Scams

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Homeland Security officer and a former immigration agent surrendered Wednesday after a grand jury indictment them in an immigration fraud scheme allegedly run by an L.A. attorney.
     “The conspiracy was allegedly orchestrated by a Los Angeles attorney who paid
     bribes as high as $10,000 to officials with several agencies in the Department of
     Homeland Security to help secure immigration benefits for aliens he was representing,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
     The 18-count superseding indictment claims that attorney Kwang Man “John” Lee bribed public officials to get immigration benefits for clients who paid him, at times, more than $50,000.
     Lee was charged in a previous criminal complaint and is not a defendant in the indictment that was returned Tuesday, prosecutors said.
     Charged were:
     U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Supervisory Officer Jesus Figueroa, 66, of Tujunga;
     former USCIS Officer Paul Lovingood, 71, of Newhall, who surrendered Wednesday;
     Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent James Dominguez, 46, of Ventura,
     who surrendered Wednesday;
     Customs and Border Protection Officer Michael Anders, 53, of Torrance;
     and Mirei Hofmann, 38, of Los Angeles, a native of Japan, who allegedly paid Lee
     tens of thousands of dollars for a permanent resident card.
     “Figueroa and Hofmann were named in an earlier indictment returned by the grand jury about a month ago,” the U.S. attorney said in the statement. “Anders and Lee, a 47-year-old resident of Los Angeles, were named in a criminal complaint filed about a month ago. All four were previously arrested and released on bond. They will be summoned into court for arraignments on the new indictment in the coming weeks.”
     The indictment alleges two conspiracies against the United States involving bribery and fraud, seven counts of bribery, as well as making false statements and misuse of government seals.
     The “immigration reform” bill under consideration in Congress has been met by the usual demands to “beef up” enforcement at the southern border, though critics say the thousands of new agents hired in the past decade have been poorly trained and are susceptible to corruption.

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