Thursday, March 24, 2011

ICE Attorney Sentenced to 17 Years In Federal Prison for Immigration Fraud

Shocking story out of the EOIR Los Angeles Immigration Court that a senior government attorney, representing Homeland Security was engaged in immigration fraud. ICE Assistant Chief Counsel Constantine Peter Kallas, 40, of Alta Loma, received a 17⅔-year sentence from United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr yesterday in federal court.

“Mr. Kallas has received one of the longest sentences ever seen in a public corruption case,” said United States Attorney AndrĂ© Birotte Jr. “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.”

Following a three-week trial, a federal jury in April 2010 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.”

He charged his housekeeper $7,000 and then told the immigration judge that she had provided material testimony in another matter and the court terminated deportation proceedings.

The full Press Release Is Here

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oral Arguments Tomorrow Before the First District Court of Appeals

Tomorrow I have 20 minute oral argument before the First District Court of Appeals, where I represent the Appellant in an appeal of his criminal conviction for one count of violating Penal Code section 182(a)(1) - conspiracy.

The issue raised on appeal is whether the prosecution is time barred, as the initiation of the proceeding tolled by virtue of obtaining an arrest warrant, was more than 3 years after the Last Overt Act in furtherance of the intended conspiracy.

The AG's Office is contending that conspiracy to commit computer fraud is subject the the statute of limitations for the substantive offense, computer fraud. Which under Penal Code section 801.5 and 803(c) is both tolled until the discovery of the fraud and the subject to a 4-year statutory period.

My claim is that under California Case Law, the crime of conspiracy is a stand alone and separate inchoate crime, which the courts have held to be subject to the 3-year period, pursuant to Penal Code section 801.

However, there does not seem to be a case directly on point and this is the issue presented before the court.