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Attorney takes plea deal in immigration scam after judge threatens to lock him up for changing mind

Charles Busse faces 30-37 months

DETROIT – An attorney charged with bribing a federal agent to help his clients avoid deportation accepted a plea deal Thursday in federal court after a judge threatened to lock him up for changing his mind about the deal.

Judge Avern Cohn threatened to throw Charles Busse behind bars without bail when Charles Busse changed his mind about a plea deal that was previously agreed upon.

"The court will not be trifled with," Cohn said.

Busse originally pleaded guilty to tax evasion and failure to report transactions of more than $10,000, but said Thursday that he didn't want to plead guilty to bribery.

Cohn gave Busse a short break to make a decision. The former Warren City Councilman ultimately decided to plead guilty to two bribery charges in addition to the tax evasion and failure to report transactions of more than $10,000 charges.

He faces 30-37 months in prison.

Busse and a Homeland Security agent were charged in a bribery scheme to keep illegal immigrants in the country. The Birmingham attorney is accused of paying special agent Clifton Divers thousands of dollars to obtain deportation deferrals for his clients.

Busse appeared in court Thursday and said he would only plead guilty to the tax evasion and failure to report transactions of more than $10,000 charges. Cohn said that if Busse goes back on the plea deal, he would be locked up without bond.

Cohn said that as an officer of the court, Busse knows the seriousness of the charges, and that there would be no bond if he went back on the deal, because it is too serious of a matter.

"He is not trustworthy in the eyes of the court," Cohn said.

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