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ICE Official Gets One of the Toughest Sentences in Public Corruption Case: Nearly 18 Years

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to nearly 18 years in prison, one of the harshest sentences ever handed down in the U.S. in a public corruption case.

Authorities said Constantine Peter Kallas, 40 of Alta Loma, Calif. was sentenced to 212 months for taking nearly one-half million dollars in bribes from immigrants who were seeking documentation to remain in the U.S.

On top of the prison term, Kallas was ordered to pay $296,865 in restitution after fraudulently receiving worker’s compensation benefits.

“Mr. Kallas has received one of the longest sentences ever seen in a public corruption case,”  U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. said in a statement. “Mr. Kallas took in hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes – money he obtained by exploiting his knowledge of the immigration system. The lengthy sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes, which were a wholesale violation of the public trust.”

Last April, a federal convicted Kallas of three dozen felony counts – conspiracy, six counts of bribery, two counts of obstruction of justice, seven counts of fraud and misuse of entry documents, three counts of aggravated identity theft, nine counts of making false statements to the Department of Labor, four counts of making false statements to obtain federal employee compensation, and four counts of tax evasion.

“This case presents an epic display of a public official’s greed,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

“As a corrupt prosecutor, [Kallas] calculatingly terrorized the idea of justice and the concept of public service,” the memorandum continued. “[Kallas] carried out his crime scheme through elaborate forms of manipulation, lies, and obstructive conduct.”

Authorities said Kallen has been in federal prison since August 2008, about two months after he was busted in an FBI sting and videotaped at the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland, Calif. “where he and his wife accepted a bribe from an immigrant”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

He accepted a series of bribes, some as high as $20,000, authorities said.

Authorities said court documents show that besides Kallas’ salary, the couple had deposited $950,000 in their bank accounts since 2000.

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