Skip to main content
Press Release

Houma Interpreter Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that TRINA MARIE BOURG, age 45, of Houma, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to five counts of a Superseding Indictment for crimes involving the solicitation of illegal payments from undocumented clients and their family members.

United States District Judge Susie Morgan sentenced BOURG to four years probation and ordered restitution in the amount of $5,500 to the victims. 

According to court records, on May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) received information that BOURG, who worked as a Spanish language interpreter contract employee for the Office of the District Defender for the 32nd Judicial District for Terrebonne Parish (“Public Defender’s Office”), was soliciting illegal payments from undocumented clients.  According to court records, BOURG, while providing Spanish interpreting services for attorneys employed by the Public Defender’s Office, identified clients facing criminal charges who were subject to potential removal from the United States.  BOURG then initiated contact with the client, or the client’s family, outside of the presence or knowledge of their court appointed attorney and falsely represented to the client or the client’s family that for a certain amount of money, she could bribe federal immigration officials not to seek federal prosecution or initiate removal proceedings against the client.  BOURG charged the client, or the client’s family, approximately $2,000 to $4,000 and said she would use the money to pay federal immigration officials in order to secure the client’s release from immigration custody.  The defendant pled guilty to knowingly devising a scheme and artifice to defraud undocumented Hispanic aliens and through false material misrepresentation was able to accomplish her scheme through lies, misrepresentations, coercion, and threats.

In 2011 and again in 2014, BOURG solicited illegal payments totaling $5,000 from Client “A” and his family members.  BOURG admitted to employing threats and intimidation to coerce the family members into paying BOURG.

It is important to note that no federal immigration officials have been implicated in this investigation, nor is it believed that any federal officials were complicit in BOURG’s crimes.  BOURG was originally indicted in August 2014.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security-HSI (McAllen, TX and Houma, LA offices), the Louisiana State Police-Criminal Investigation Division, and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office in investigating this matter.  Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marquest Meeks were in charge of the prosecution.

Updated March 23, 2016

Financial Fraud