LINCOLN (AP) — A woman convicted of scamming immigrants out of more than $11,000 says she'd be glad to serve her one-year jail sentence if prosecutors help her return from Brazil.
Gabriela Machado said she went to Brazil to visit her mother in the hospital, but now her travel documents have expired and she's having trouble getting new ones.
Machado suggested that prosecutors either drop the criminal case or help her get a special kind of visa that is generally used for immigrants who are victims of crime.
Machado was convicted last year of using her job at a legal aid organization to steal the money by telling immigrants they had to pay bogus fees.
Machado worked at the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance from 2006 to 2011.
Prosecutors said Machado paid $11,335 in restitution to a dozen women she misled about fees for visa appeals and attorney fees.
She pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor theft charge and was sentenced in March, but Machado remained free on bail while appealing. She lost the appeal and was ordered to report to jail.
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