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Professional Responsibility
07/26/2013

Man pleads guilty to bribing federal official

Defendant sought immigration benefits in pay-to-play scheme

ATLANTA — A Georgia man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday for his role in a bribery conspiracy to obtain immigration benefits. His guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility.

Beginning in September 2010, and continuing until at least July 2012, Ibrahim Barrie, 32, of Atlanta, paid bribes to a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in exchange for immigration benefits, as well as other benefits. The DHS special agent was working in an undercover capacity. Over a two-year period, Barrie paid thousands of dollars to the undercover special agent for what he believed was assistance with his immigration status in the United States, including obtaining a permanent resident card, commonly known as a green card.

Barrie could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $75,000. The defendant likely faces removal from the United States upon completion of his prison term.

"This defendant attempted to subvert the immigration process by offering bribes to a federal agent whom he believed would help him," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "In the end, he faces significant jail time and likely deportation for his actions."

"The ICE Office of Professional Responsibility takes bribery of ICE officials very seriously and makes it a priority to thoroughly pursue investigation of such allegations. In this case, Mr. Barrie ignored the lawful route to pursue immigration benefits in favor of offering monetary bribes for expediting his residency status as well as other benefits. As a result, he is instead facing the possibility of prison time followed by deportation," said David P. D'Amato, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility for the Southeast Region.

Barrie's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30.