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Former Midway Airport customs officer indicted for allegedly taking bribes

A former US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor 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, announced US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, and ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

William Mann, 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. Mann allegedly altered a law enforcement database and provided 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 also charged with Mann.

Mann is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday before US Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez of the Northern District of Illinois. Mann was charged with conspiracy, bribery, and immigration fraud in a seven-count indictment that was unsealed last week and returned by a federal grand jury on May 20. Charu is currently believed to be in Brazil; he 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.

If convicted, Mann and Charu each face up to five years in prison on the conspiracy count. The three counts of bribery and aiding and abetting bribery each carry up to15 years in prison. Each of the three counts of immigration fraud and aiding and abetting immigration fraud carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. All seven counts carry a $250,000 maximum fine.