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Duluth attorney sentenced to year in federal prison

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Duluth attorney has been sentenced to serve time in federal prison on charges of filing false documents in an effort to assist clients in obtaining legal status in the U.S.

Sai Hyun Lee, 63, of Duluth was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. on charges of filing false documents with the United States Department of Labor and with Citizenship and Immigration Services.

"The investigation established that on 17 occasions Sai Hyun Lee filed false documents to help clients fraudulently obtain lawful status through their employment," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. "We expect lawyers to uphold and defend the rule of law, not assist clients in breaking the law. As part of her plea agreement, Lee has given up her license to practice law in the state of Georgia and $100,000, which represents the fees Lee charged for assisting her clients to commit immigration fraud."

Lee was sentenced to one year and one day in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to the charges in November.

"Quite simply, America's immigration system is not for sale," said Kenneth Smith, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Investigations in Atlanta. "The ICE Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force is working closely with its member agencies, to include the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as other agencies to ensure that those who seek to enrich themselves by compromising the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system pay a price for their crimes."