A State Representative from Cape Girardeau has pleaded guilty to federal immigration fraud charges. The federal prosecutor says Representative Nathan Cooper (R-Cape Girardeau), a lawyer specializing in immigration law, helped get temporary work visas for his clients in the trucking business.

The prosecutor says he was paid at least $50,000 in legal fees from his trucking clients. He admitted creating fake companies that he used to get temporary work visas; writing bogus letters about the immigration status of his clients’ workers, and of buying visas that were illegally transferred to his client’s workers.

Cooper is 33. He is in his second term in the House. He has a degree in criminal justice. After his first term in the House he received an award as Freshman Legislator of the Year for Accountability in Government.

He’ll be sentenced October 19th. He could be sent to prison for as much as 15 years.