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Lawyer jailed after persuading clients to be 'gay'

Lawyer jailed after persuading clients to be 'gay'

A US lawyer has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for encouraging his heterosexual clients to claim they were gay in order to stay in the United States.Steven Mahoney, a Seattle immigration…

A US lawyer has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for encouraging his heterosexual clients to claim they were gay in order to stay in the United States.

Steven Mahoney, a Seattle immigration lawyer, was sentenced last week after he pleaded guilty in April this year, admitting he had filed as many as 99 fraudulent immigration forms over a decade, and was paid between US$1,000 and US$4,000 for each document, according to Associated Press reports.

Mahoney and his wife, who both became naturalised US citizens after immigrating from Russia, were indicted in January after he told two clients seeking asylum to say they were homosexual and would be persecuted if they returned to their home countries.

Mahoney's ex-wife, Helen Mahoney, was also sentenced to six months' imprisonment for the crime, which involved supplying documents about homosexuality to one of the clients before a 2005 asylum interview, according to The Seattle Times.

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