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DHS official admits taking bribes to fake documents

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal immigration official pleaded guilty Thursday to receiving more than $600,000 in bribes for falsifying documents for illegal immigrants.

Robert Schofield, 57, could face 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in February.

He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, to issuing fraudulent documents to at least 184 illegal immigrants who falsely received U.S. citizenship.

Schofield, a former supervisor for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, was arrested in June.

He had served as a supervisory district adjudications officer at the Washington district office of agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

According to court documents, Schofield illegally helped Asian immigrants obtain U.S. citizenship in return for payments of $30,000 or more.

Under terms of the plea agreement Schofield has agreed to surrender his home, his bank accounts and his government retirement account.

"The breadth and scope of Mr. Schofield's fraud and corruption are truly stunning," said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.

"Those who compromise the integrity of our national immigration system betray the confidence of the American people, and their actions are shameful."

Prosecutors said Schofield employed a network of brokers to bring aliens to him who were willing to pay for the phony documents.

The government says it has identified a number of these brokers.

One of them, Qiming Ye of Washington, has already pleaded guilty and will be sentenced December 21.



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