An Ohio judge has given a former employee of the deputy registrar’s office a Christmas present that she almost assuredly will not enjoy. After pleading guilty in May in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to five counts of tampering with records for issuing state ID cards and driver’s licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally, Betina Young has been sentenced to spend her next five Christmas holidays in jail by Judge Michael J. Holbrook.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Bond, Young, 44, took money from applicants in exchange for falsifying records showing that they presented the necessary documentation to verify immigration status. In addition to placing her on probation for five years, Holbrook ruled that Young spend a minimum of three days in jail each Christmas and imposed a $3,000 fine.
If Young violates probation, her so-called “Holbrook holidays” will come to an end and she will instead receive 15 years in prison, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Sekou Kpoto, 42, acted as a middleman in the scheme. Kpoto would find and solicit bribes from foreign nationals and then take them to Young’s office so she could issue the phony license and IDs. Kpoto received $700 to $1,500 for each transaction and he paid part of that fee to Young. It is estimated that Young issued 95 fraudulent licenses and IDs during her seven years as a clerk.
Kpoto is charged with five counts of tampering with records. He is scheduled for trial next Tuesday.