- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

HOUMA, La. (AP) - A Spanish-language interpreter accused of taking bribes from clients of the Terrebonne Parish Public Defender’s Office is set for trial in two weeks on federal charges.

The Courier reports (https://bit.ly/1OutP3d) 45-year-old Trina Marie Bourg was indicted May 21 on five counts of wire fraud. She’s set for a jury trial Aug. 10 before U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan in New Orleans.

If convicted, Bourg will face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

Prosecutors said on May 7, 2014, U.S. Department of Homeland Security began an investigation into Bourg, who served as an interpreter for attorneys with the Public Defender’s Office from Feb. 24, 2010 to July 22, 2014.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bourg contacted clients of the Public Defender’s Office and their families without attorneys knowing. She got them to make illegal payments to her by saying they would be deported if not, prosecutors added.

Bourg charged people $2,000 to $4,000, saying she would pay federal immigration officials to release them, the Department of Justice said. She is also accused of asking a client for $12,000 to $20,000 and offering to marry him to improve his immigration status and trying to have a client’s vehicle title transferred to her.

Prosecutors said they don’t believe federal officials helped Bourg commit any crimes.

Prosecutors declined to comment further on the case because of the upcoming trial, and Bourg’s attorneys could not be reached.


Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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