Four Plead Guilty to Bribing Immigration Employee
Defendants with Criminal Histories Sought to Evade Reporting Requirements
ATLANTA, GA - ROTANA KHOV, 34, of Atlanta, Georgia; PISA PHOSAI, 34, of McDonough, Georgia; HING BUN, 42, of Riverdale, Georgia; and VOEUN LIM, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to charges related to bribing and immigration employee to alter their reporting requirements and criminal histories.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “These four defendants were marked for deportation but thought that they could beat the system by bribing an immigration employee. Thanks to the honesty and cooperation of the employee, these defendants will now have to spend time in prison before they are deported.”
“ICE takes all bribery attempts of our employees very seriously,” said David D'Amato, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility overseeing Atlanta.”All allegations of bribery are investigated thoroughly and swift enforcement action is taken when appropriate.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: The defendants are aliens who were subject to deportation due to previous criminal convictions. All of the defendants countries that must issue travel permits to effectuate deportation. Because these aliens could not be deported within 90 days from the time that an immigration official issued the order of removal, the defendants were released from custody but were required to report periodically to an employee.
In August 2010, PISA PHOSAI approached an ICE Enforcement and Removal Assistant and offered to pay her $1,500 to cancel his reporting requirement. The Assistant immediately reported PHOSAI’s offer to ICE Special Agents and other investigators, and the Assistant then began to work in an undercover role. Acting at the direction of the special agents, the Assistant agreed to alter PHOSAI’s reporting requirement in exchange for money. PHOSAI was not able to raise the money, but he introduced her to ROTANA KHOV, who he said was willing to pay to have his reporting requirement eliminated. KHOV paid the Assistant $1,500 in early September 2010.
KHOV subsequently introduced other aliens in similar situations to the Assistant, including defendants BUN and LIM. In late September 2010, HING BUN paid $4,000 to have his reporting requirements cancelled. In October 2010, VOEUN LIM paid $3,000 to the Assistant. In all, six aliens paid a total of $18,500 to the ICE Enforcement and Removal Assistant to have their reporting requirements removed. KHOV kept approximately $4,000 of the money as a fee for referring the other individuals to the Assistant. Recorded conversations between the Assistant and the defendants indicated that the defendants believed that, by eliminating their reporting requirements, the Assistant was also removing their criminal histories from their ICE records, which would allow them to stay in this country legally and eventually to apply for American citizenship.
KHOV, PHOSAI, BUN, LIM and three other individuals were indicted in April 2011 on one count of conspiracy to bribe a public official, and six counts of bribing a public official. KHOV pleaded guilty to all seven counts. He could receive a maximum sentence of 95 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,750,000. PHOSAI pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count and one count of bribing a public official. He could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $500,000. BUN pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count. He could receive a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. LIM pleaded guilty to one count of bribing a public official. He could receive a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
A sentencing date for the defendants has not yet set before Chief United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Assistant United States Attorney Paul R. Jones is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.