Three Men Indicted for Attempted Bribery of Federal Immigration Official
Feds foil attempted bribery scheme where men paid thousands for immigration benefits
ATLANTA - Hakeem Omar, 30, and Ibrahim Barrie, 31, of Atlanta, and Samuel Bolay, 24, of New York, appeared in federal court today on charges that they conspired to bribe a federal immigration official in return for assistance with their immigration status. A federal grand jury returned indictments on August 21, 2012, charging the three men with conspiracy and bribery, and agents arrested all three men on September 5, 2012. The defendants were arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand, who set detention hearings to take place on September 11, 2012.
“These defendants are charged with attempting to circumvent the immigration process by offering bribes to a federal agent,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “The integrity of our immigration process has important implications for the security of our communities, and this case shows that we will take efforts to subvert this process seriously.”
“The ICE Office of Professional Responsibility considers bribery of our employees an extremely serious offense, as these actions can potentially undermine the security of our nation. We swiftly investigate all bribery attempts and take appropriate enforcement action when warranted,” said David P. D’Amato, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility for the Southeast Region.
According to United States Attorney Yates and the information presented in court: Beginning in September 2010, and continuing until at least July 2012, Omar, Barrie, and Bolay paid bribes to a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security who was working in a undercover capacity, in exchange for immigration benefits and other benefits. Over a two-year period, the defendants paid thousands of dollars to the undercover special agent for what they believed was assistance with their immigration status in the United States, including naturalization assistance and obtaining a permanent resident card, commonly known as a green card.
The indictment charges Omar, Barrie, and Bolay with conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. In addition, each defendant is charged with separate bribery counts related to each bribe paid by him, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum fine of $250,000 or three times the equivalent of their bribes, whichever is greater. Lastly, defendant Omar, a naturalized citizen, also faces a charge of naturalization fraud, for which he faces 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. If convicted, all defendants likely face removal from the United States. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy J. Storino is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the Government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney's Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (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.