California pair sentenced in visa fraud scheme

A former supervisor with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and his son have been sentenced today to 60 months and 48 months, respectively, on federal corruption charges.

Fernando Jacobs, 72, of Upland, and Patrick Jacobs, 44, of Ontario, were sentenced by U. S. District Judge George H. King. Judge King also ordered Fernando Jacobs to pay a $30,000 fine. Fernando Jacobs was remanded into custody to begin serving his prison sentence immediately. Patrick Jacobs has been in custody since his arrest in December 2009.

Fernando Jacobs, who was a supervisory immigration services officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and his son were convicted by a jury of conspiracy, bribery and honest services wire fraud. Additionally, Fernando Jacobs was also convicted of visa fraud.

The evidence presented during the two-week trial in U. S. District Court in April showed that Fernando Jacobs accepted bribes in exchange for helping aliens seeking status in the United States and that his son acted as a middleman brokering deals with the aliens.

The evidence showed that Fernando Jacobs and his son engaged in a scheme to defraud U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of Fernando Jacobs’ honest services by using Fernando Jacobs’ authority and official position to enrich themselves by receiving payments in return for expediting processing of immigration case files, obtaining and providing immigration information from Department of Homeland Security immigration databases, and obtaining and providing I-551 stamps that authorize aliens to travel to and from the United States. As part of the scheme, Fernando Jacobs fraudulently procured passport stamps for two Mexican nationals that allowed them to travel to and from the United States.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Judge King said that Fernando Jacobs sold out his office for money and that he did so “because he wanted money and he was greedy.”

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