Orange County's Kathleen Luong must have thought she'd outwitted federal immigration officials with a 2009 passport photo fraud scheme to help Vietnamese nationals illegally enter the United States.
But she was mistaken.
In late November, officials arrested Luong following a two-count, federal grand jury indictment and freed her from custody on $20,000 bail.
This month, she signed a guilty plea admitting that in February 2009 she completed a passport application with her biographical details but supplied a photograph of a Vietnamese woman who wanted to trick her way into this country.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
About two weeks later that same month, Luong--who was born in 1970, 1973 or 1974--federal records bizarrely list all three conflicting years--completed a passport application with the biographical details of her son but supplied a photograph of a Vietnamese boy.
She originally faced a maximum punishment of one year in prison plus a $100,000 fine, but her post-arrest admissions prompted prosecutors to reduce her crimes to misdemeanor status.
She is scheduled today to formally announce her guilt to U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.