TAMPA — Former U.S. immigration officer Jeffrey F. Bohn was ordered Thursday to serve six months in prison for lying to investigators about a sexual relationship with a foreign national who sought help to keep her young son in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven expressed skepticism over aspects of the immigrant's story, noting that she lied about becoming pregnant by a vasectomized Bohn. But the judge gave him a sentence at the high end of the guideline range, declining a request for probation.
The woman used her body to get what she wanted, the judge opined, and Bohn used his job.
He met Laura Maldonado of Ecuador during an immigration interview about her son's residency status on Sept. 11, 2006. In her presence, he stamped a passport, but after she left, he altered official paperwork, negating the stamp, the judge found.
The next day, he visited Maldonado at her home, and the two began a sexual relationship that went on for several months, according to her testimony. Jurors heard all about it before convicting Bohn in September.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney said Thursday it seemed unlikely that it was Bohn's first time for such conduct, given that he was "brazen and self-assured."
The judge said she didn't intend to sentence Bohn based on Sweeney's speculation.
Defense attorney Dionja Dyer wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Bohn "provided the names of several individuals" when asked by investigators about relationships he developed through his employment, but he did not name Maldonado.
At that point — the interviews took place in 2013 and 2014 — about seven years had elapsed. Maldonado had come forward with DNA evidence after a deportation order. When shown a photo, Bohn "asserted he had not had sex with 'that woman,' " Dyer wrote.
Having sex with clients was a violation of office policy, but lying about it was a federal crime.
The judge asked the prosecutor why Bohn had not been charged with more. It's against the law, for instance, to use a public position for private gain. Sweeney said the statute of limitations had expired on the sex.
Dyer said Bohn intended no "quid pro quo" for immigration benefits and considered the involvement to be mutual and innocent in nature.
Bohn, who comes from a family of public employees, lost a 28-year marriage and a 25-year government career over his conduct, Dyer wrote. He has since remarried and got a job at Amazon.
In addressing the judge, he said "this whole process" has changed his life and brought shame upon him.
"I deeply regret … everything I've done wrong, and I just want the court to know that," he said.
Was he preserving his right to appeal, the judge responded?
Yes, came the answer.
Along with the six-month sentence, she ordered Bohn to pay a $2,500 fine and serve three years of supervised release. She allowed him to self-surrender at a date to be determined by the Bureau of Prisons.
Contact Patty Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3382.