ATLANTA — An Atlanta man was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday on charges arising out of a scheme to bribe an immigration official. The sentence follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
Hakeem Omar, 31, of Atlanta, was also stripped of his fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship. He will serve three years of supervised release following his prison term and will be turned over to a duly-authorized immigration official for appropriate removal proceedings.
"Many dream of obtaining their U.S. citizenship and pursue that dream lawfully," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "This defendant attempted to subvert the immigration process by offering bribes to a federal agent. Now, after paying thousands of dollars in bribes, he is headed to prison and has been stripped of his fraudulently obtained citizenship."
"Quite simply, America's immigration system is not for sale," said David P. D'Amato, special agent in charge of OPR for the Southeast Region. "OPR works closely with partners like the U.S. Attorney's Office to ensure that those who seek to compromise the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system pay a price for their crimes."
According to information presented in court, beginning in September 2010, and continuing until at least July 2012, Omar and co-defendant Ibrahim Barrie paid a series of bribes to an OPR special agent who was working undercover. Over a two-year period, Omar 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 U.S. citizenship through naturalization.
Omar is the second conspirator to be sentenced in this case. On Oct. 21, co-conspirator Ibrahim Barrie, 32, of Atlanta, was sentenced to two years in prison. Upon completion of his sentence, Barrie will be turned over to a duly-authorized immigration official for appropriate removal proceedings.