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ICE Officer Gets 6 Months in the Slammer

MANHATTAN (CN) - A former Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer was sentenced to 6 months in prison for awarding three Homeland Security contracts to companies he owned himself. ICE contracting officer David Balgobin pleaded guilty to the federal charges last June, for securing contracts for his own companies without disclosing his financial interest in them.

Balgobin worked as Mission Support Specialist in the Detention and Removal Office in New York, where ICE detainees are held during deportation proceedings. His job involved obtaining contracts for ICE.

After concerns were raised by Homeland Security's Office of Acquisition Management, an investigation showed that Balgobin had authorized three contracts with companies that his wife operated.

The companies were Countrywide Office Solutions, which provided courier services, Aroma Scientific Corp., which provided janitorial services, and Aromed Corp., which provided clothing for ICE detainees. ICE was the sole client of all three companies.

Balgobin admitted to the conflict of financial interest and was sentenced on Friday to 6 months in prison. He also agreed to forfeit $125,000 and a house in the Poconos, and pay a $5,000 dollar fine.

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