A central Ohio judge has ordered a woman to spend the next five Christmases in jail as part of her sentence for issuing state ID cards and driver’s licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Prosecutors say 44-year-old Betina Young — a former license agency employee — accepted payments from applicants to falsify records showing they had verified their immigration status. She has pleaded guilty.
“Judge Michael J. Holbrook placed Young on probation yesterday for five years and ordered that she spend a minimum of three days in jail each Christmas while on probation,” the Columbus Dispatch reports.
“The exact number of days will be determined in consultation with the probation department. He also imposed a $3,000 fine,” it adds.
If she violates probation, she could go to prison for 15 years.
“Sekou Kpoto, 42, of Possum Run Court W. on the Northeast Side, is accused of serving as the middleman in the scheme Kpoto solicited bribes from foreign nationals and drove them to the Gahanna agency, where Young issued 95 fraudulent licenses and IDs during her seven years as a clerk,” the report notes, citing the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
“An investigation by the bureau, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security found that Kpoto received $700 to $1,500 for each transaction, a portion of which he paid to Young,” the report adds.
Kpoto has been charged with five counts of “tampering with records.” Kpoto is scheduled for trial next Tuesday.
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(H/T: CBS Cleveland). The Associated Press contributed to this report.