May 3 at 4:35 p.m. PDT
LOS ANGELES – A former official with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and his son were found guilty this afternoon of federal corruption charges.
Fernando Jacobs, 72, of Upland, who was a supervisory immigration services officer with USCIS, and his son, Patrick Anthony Jacobs, 44, of Ontario, were each convicted of conspiracy, bribery and honest services wire fraud. Fernando Jacobs was also convicted of visa fraud. Fernando Jacobs was found guilty of a total of seven counts, while his son was convicted of six counts.
The evidence presented during the two-week trial in United States District Court showed that Fernando Jacobs accepted a $1,500 bribe in exchange for helping an alien obtain legal permanent residency. Fernando Jacobs accessed the alien’s confidential immigration file and provided information to the alien seeking status in the United States.
The evidence also showed that Fernando Jacobs and his son engaged in a scheme to defraud USCIS of Fernando Jacobs’ honest services. The scheme involved the pair using Fernando Jacobs’ authority and official position to enrich themselves by receiving payments in return for expediting 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.
Fernando Jacobs faces a statutory maximum sentence of 110 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on August 8 by United States District Judge George H. King. Patrick Anthony Jacobs faces a statutory maximum sentence of 100 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on the same date.
The jury that convicted Fernando Jacobs on the seven felony counts today also failed to reach a verdict on three additional bribery counts. Fernando Jacobs retired from USCIS in January 2010. The jury was also unable to reach verdicts on three counts against Patrick Anthony Jacobs.
A third defendant who went to trial was acquitted on some counts, while the jury was unable to reach a decision on other counts.
The case against Fernando and Patrick Jacobs was investigated by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.