A U.S. immigration officer has been arrested for accepting bribes in the form of cash and egg rolls from people seeking citizenship and green cards.
Mai Nhu Nguyen, 47, from Irvine, Calif., was indicted on Wednesday on three counts of solicitation of a bribe by a public official, the Associated Press reports. She was arrested on June 6 after taking $2,200 from an immigrant seeking citizenship, reports Courthouse News Service.
Prosecutors say Nguyen has been accepting bribes since 2011. In one case, she received 200 egg rolls in exchange for citizenship, and received $1,000 in another instance from a person applying for a green card, the U.S. attorney said in the statement.
Nguyen who worked as an officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Santa Ana, Calif., where she reviewed immigrants' applications for benefits, has been released on a $20,000 bond and arraigned on July 1.
In May, four immigration officers were charged with bribery and fraud, the Los Angeles Times reports. Federal authorities say Kwang Man "John" Lee, an attorney and former Immigration and Naturalization Service agent, told his clients they could gain citizenship in exchange for a pound of marijuana and $44,000 that he offered to several immigration officials, according to court documents.
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The four officers involved were indicted on charges including conspiracy, bribery, fraud and misuse of government seals. Lee, who was charged in a separate case, bribed officials with round-trip tickets to Thailand, a 47-inch flat-screen TV and computer. Prosecutors say the scheme lasted several decades.
"It looks like this goes back at least 20 years," Assistant U.S. Atty. Meghan Blanco told the Los Angeles Times. "By and large, it involves people who entered the country legally and then overstayed their visa."