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State lawmaker pleads guilty to immigration fraud

By Associated Press

St. Louis, MO – A member of the Missouri House has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.

Nathan Cooper is a Republican from Cape Girardeau and an immigration attorney.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts involving a scheme to acquire temporary worker visas for his clients in the trucking business.

Democratic House Member Rachel Storch of St. Louis said Cooper needs to step down immediately.

"I think that the Legislature, both Republicans and Democrats, need to send a very strong message that this kind of activity is absolutely unacceptable," Storch said. "Public officials should be held to a higher standard. We need to be role models, in terms of upholding the law."

According to his attorney, Cooper will resign from office and surrender his law license sometime before his sentencing date in October.

He could get up to 15 years in prison and be fined up to $500,000.