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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Federal Agent and Local Attorney Charged with Bribery, Fraud and Obstruction of Justice

A Special Agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations and an attorney have been charged with bribery, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of justice, announced U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.  The charging documents were unsealed today.

Joining in the announcement was Giovanni Tiano, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General and Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations. 

Charged in an Indictment was Clifton Divers, 48, of Detroit, Michigan.  Divers was charged with misusing his position as a Special Agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations to obtain numerous deferrals of deportation and other immigration benefits for non-citizen foreign nationals in return for over $5,000 in cash payments, free legal services and other things of value. 

Special Agent Divers is also charged with conspiring to impair, obstruct and defeat the lawful function of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by dishonest means.  In addition, Agent Divers is charged with destruction and falsification of records to obstruct an official investigation by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  The crimes are alleged to have occurred between 2009 and 2015.  The six charged crimes carry maximum penalties of between five and twenty years.

Charged in an Information was attorney Charles T. Busse, 58, of Birmingham, Michigan.  Busse was charged with paying bribes to a Special Agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations to obtain numerous deferrals of deportation and other immigration benefits for his clients.  Attorney Busse maintains law offices in Rochester Hills, Michigan and in Dearborn, Michigan. 

Busse was also charged with conspiring to impair, obstruct and defeat the lawful function of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by dishonest means.  In addition, Busse was charged with criminal tax evasion and with violating the federal law that requires an attorney to report any cash payments of more than $10,000.  The crimes are alleged to have occurred between 2009 and 2015.  The four charged crimes carry maximum penalties of between five and fifteen years.

McQuade stated, “Anyone who abuses a federal law enforcement position for personal profit can expect to face serious penalties, including criminal prosecution.”

Special Agent in Charge Tianno stated, “Acts of corruption within the Department of Homeland Security represent a threat to our national security, and the Office of Inspector General is committed to doing everything possible to eradicate those who choose to place our country at risk.  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have some of the finest agents in law enforcement and this arrest today is not indicative of the selfless work the fine men and women from HSI perform every day.”

“This case should serve to reassure the public that the IRS will continue to enforce our nation’s tax laws to protect the integrity of our tax systems and we will take particular interest in cases where someone, for their own personal benefit, attempts to profit from corruption,” said Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge.  “For years, criminals have devised complex schemes in an attempt to conceal their illegal activities.  Tax cheats should take note that they cannot evade their tax reporting obligations without consequences.”

U.S. Attorney McQuade commended the outstanding work of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations in conducting a comprehensive criminal investigation into potential corruption activities involving a federal law enforcement official. 

An indictment/information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Every defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

Updated October 20, 2016