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Woman sentenced in husband-wife immigration fraud scheme

A woman convicted with her husband of multiple felonies in a bribery scheme that helped illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison.

Maria Kallas, 41, of Alta Loma, and her husband, Constantine Peter Kallas, 40, were accused of taking more than $400,000 in bribes in a wide-ranging conspiracy that included workers' compensation fraud, tax evasion and identity theft.

Constantine Kallas, at the time a senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, misrepresented himself as an immigration judge or high-ranking immigration official to entice bribes from people living in the U.S. illegally.

Bribery victims were offered phony jobs at shell companies the couple set up.

Constantine Kallas, who was arrested in 2008 just minutes after he was videotaped taking a $20,000 bribe from a government informant, was sentenced in March to nearly 18 years in federal prison.

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-- Mike Anton

 
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