Midway Airport Customs and Border Protection Supervisor William Mann Accepted Bribes to Extend Stays of Restaurant Workers by Falsifying Documents

Aviation On-Line Magazine:  Midway Airport Customs Supervisor Indicted On Bribery Charges  (June 29 2010)

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor, William Mann at Midway International Airport will be arraigned this week on federal charges alleging that he received $52,000 in bribes to allow foreign restaurant workers and their spouses to remain in the United States … William Mann, 50, a former CBP supervising officer at Midway, allegedly received about $700 to $2,000 per person from more than 30 restaurant employees and their spouses.

United States Department of Justice Press Release:   Former Midway Airport Customs Officer Indicted for Allegedly Receiving $52,000 in Bribes from Restaurant Employees  (June 28 2010)

A former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor at Midway International Airport will be arraigned this week on federal charges alleging that he received bribes totaling approximately $52,000 to allow foreign employees of three restaurants in Chicago and the suburbs and their spouses to extend their stays in the United States. William Mann, a former CBP supervising officer at Midway, allegedly received approximately $700 to $2,000 per person from more than 30 restaurant employees and their spouses to alter a law enforcement database and provide false immigration and travel documents showing that the restaurant workers and their spouses had just entered the United States and were eligible to legally stay in the country for another year. Rogerio Charu, part owner and general manager of the former restaurants in Chicago, Downers Grove and Schaumburg, was charged with Mann, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced today.

Mann, 50, of Munster, Ind., is scheduled to be arraigned at 10 a.m. Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in U.S. District Court. He was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of bribery, and three counts of immigration fraud in a seven-count indictment that was unsealed last week after being returned by a federal grand jury on May 20.  Charu, whose last know residence was in Downers Grove and is currently believed to be in Brazil, was charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the remaining six counts against Mann. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $52,000 from Mann, representing the alleged bribes he received from the restaurant employees.

The indictment alleges that when Mann accepted the money in the spring of 2005, the employees and their spouses either already were required to leave the country or soon would be required to do so.

Mann and Charu each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy count. The three counts of bribery and aiding and abetting bribery each carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, and each of the three counts of immigration fraud and aiding and abetting immigration fraud carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, and all seven counts carry a $250,000 maximum fine. Upon conviction, however, the Court would determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

William Mann Grand Jury Indictment [PDF 58KB] (August 2010)

Chicago Tribune:  Former customs officer at Midway gets 46 months in bribery scheme (Aug 30 2011)

A former supervisor with the Customs and Border Protection office at Midway Airport has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for taking nearly $30,000 in bribes in exchange for doctoring immigration documents to allow people to remain in the country illegally, officials said.  William Mann of Munster, Ind. took about $1,500 each from at least 19 people who had worked at closed restaurants in Chicago and Downers Grove, officials said. He also took money from their spouses, they said. In return, Mann tapped into a law enforcement database and changed immigration and travel documents to make it appear as though they had just entered the country and were eligible to stay here for another year, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

CBS Local Chicago:  Customs Official Off To Prison For Taking Bribes From Immigrants (Aug 31 2011)

[William] Mann was the supervisor for federal customs at Midway International Airport, and had access to immigrants who wanted to stay.  Mann has admitted he took $28,000 dollars in bribes from those who worked for now-closed restaurants in Chicago and Downers Grove.  In turn, he altered databases and provided false documents so it would appear the immigrants and their relatives were eligible to stay here for one more year.

United States Department of Justice Press Release:  Former Midway Airport Customs Officer Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Redeiving Bribes from Restaurant Employees  (Aug 30 2011)

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor at Midway International Airport was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for taking bribes totaling at least $28,500 to allow foreign employees of now-closed restaurants in Chicago and Downers Grove and their spouses to extend their stays in the United States. The defendant, William Mann, received approximately $1,500 from at least 19 restaurant employees and their spouses to alter a law enforcement database and provide false immigration and travel documents showing that the restaurant workers and their spouses had just entered the United States and were eligible to legally stay in the country for another year.

Mann, 51, of Munster, Ind., was ordered to begin serving his sentence on Oct. 28 by U.S. District Judge Blanche M. Manning, who imposed the sentence in Federal Court in Chicago. Judge Manning also granted a preliminary order requiring Mann to forfeit $28,500 in bribe proceeds. Mann pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy, three counts of bribery, and three counts of immigration fraud, which were contained in an indictment that was unsealed in June 2010. A codefendant, Rogerio Charu, part owner and general manager of the former Sal E Carvao restaurant, which had locations in Chicago, Downers Grove and Schaumburg, was indicted for allegedly conspiring with and aiding and abetting Mann. Charu, whose last know residence was in Downers Grove, remains a fugitive who is currently believed to be in Brazil.

According to court documents, in May 2005, Mann conspired to falsify the immigration records of restaurant employees to make it appear as though they were lawfully in the United States. Mann admitted that restaurant employees and their spouses paid him approximately $1,500 each, by either handing him the money personally or by passing the money to him through another individual.

The same employees also provided their passports to Mann, who had taken an Immigration Form I-94 admission stamp from the CBP’s secure storage room at Midway Airport. Mann placed fraudulent I-94 admission stamps on the I-94 forms and placed those forms into each of the employees’ passports and wrote fraudulent exit dates next to the stamps.

After fraudulently altering the employees’ passports, Mann returned to Midway Airport and accessed the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS.) Once logged on to the TECS database, Mann fraudulently altered the employees’ immigration records to make it appear as though they had legally entered the United States on flights arriving after a certain date, when, in reality, they had been in the United States several months to several years prior to that date. He also changed their required departure dates to a later date, making it appear to law enforcement and immigration officials that the employees and their spouses were legally present in the United States when, in reality, they had already overstayed their legal admission time and were subject to deportation.

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