LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Lake Tahoe attorney was arrested on charges of soliciting more than $100,000 in bribes for false testimony in an immigration fraud investigation, federal prosecutors said.
Alfred Nash Villalobos, 44, is accused of accepting $50,000, which he believed to be the first payment of a $107,000 bribe for coaching a client to lie to a federal prosecutor and grand jury about an immigration fraud scheme.
Villalobos’ client was an illegal immigrant who received paychecks from a religious organization, for which he did no work, so the client could maintain a visa, according to an FBI affidavit attached to the criminal complaint.
The complaint provides little detail about the alleged fraud. It states that checks were cashed by the organization’s purported workers, and that the money was returned to the organization.
The person who ran the organization, known as Confidential Witness 1, or CW1 in the affidavit, apparently is being investigated for providing false proof of employment – paychecks – to help immigrants obtain status under a federal law that makes religious workers eligible for work visas.
CW1’s attorney is referred to as CW2 in the FBI agent’s 46-page affidavit. Villalobos allegedly was offered a deal in which Villalobos’s client would testify on CW1’s behalf that the paychecks were legitimate. The bribe was to be disguised as a sexual harassment settlement between Villalobos’s client and CW2’s client, according to the affidavit.
The FBI says CW2 cooperated by recording his conversations with Villalobos.