Former public defender's office interpreter pleads guilty to fra - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Former public defender's office interpreter pleads guilty to fraud

United States District Court Eastern District of Louisiana/FILE (FOX 8 Photo) United States District Court Eastern District of Louisiana/FILE (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

A former Spanish language interpreter has pleaded guilty to taking money from undocumented immigrants and telling them she would bribe U.S. Immigration Officials to drop their charges.

Trina Marie Bourg, 45, was employed by the public defender's office in Terrebonne Parish.

Bourg pleaded guilty to five counts of a superseding indictment for crimes involving solicitation of illegal payments.

She faces up to twenty years in prison and a fine of $250,000 per count.

According to court records, on May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security received information about the allegations against Bourg.

Bourg, while providing Spanish interpreting services for attorneys in the public defender’s office, identified clients facing criminal charges who could be deported from the United States. 

Prosecutors said she then initiated contact with the client, or the client’s family, outside of the presence or knowledge of their court appointed attorney and falsely represented to the client or the client’s family that for a certain amount of money, she could bribe federal immigration officials not to seek federal prosecution or initiate removal proceedings against the client.

Bourg would take payments between $2,000 and $4,000 from clients.

At least twice, she took $5,000 from a client using threats and coercion, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The Superseding Indictment also alleged that for a payment of $12,000 to $20,000, Bourg offered to marry one of her clients in order to improve his immigration status.

No federal immigration officials have been implicated in this investigation.

Bourg is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 4. 

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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