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Immigration attorney faces client grievances, lawsuits, and federal bribery charges

U.S. Attorney
U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit

A Detroit immigration attorney accused of bribing a federal special agent is also being accused of defrauding former clients.

Attorney Brad Thomson represents some of Charles Busse's former clients. He says Busse made promises he couldn't keep, filed unnecessary documents, and that some people were deported to their home countries because of his mistakes.

Thomson says given the federal charges facing Busse, there may not be much money left over for his clients, and it may be difficult or impossible to reopen some deported immigrants' cases.

But he says they deserve to be heard and helped as much as possible.

"It's not only an economic thing, but a moral principle that there is justice here in the American dream," says Thomson.  "Because especially for undocumented immigrants, they are the most vulnerable population here in the United States."

Thomson says the State Bar of Michigan may be able to help some of his clients recover a portion of their attorney's fees.  The Bar maintains a fund to help people who were defrauded by their attorneys.

The government says Busse bribed a special agent with U.S. Customs and Immigration in order to prevent some immigrants from being deported.  He faces four felony charges of bribery, obstruction, and tax evasion; each felony carries a maximum penalty of between five and fifteen years.

Busse did not return a phone call made to his office.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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