Deportation upheld
for isle woman

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO >> A federal appeals court upheld yesterday a lower court's decision allowing the deportation of a 35-year-old woman convicted in Honolulu in 1996 of stealing more than $800,000 in several fraud schemes.

Virginia Taniguchi had challenged an immigration judge's 1999 order that she be deported to her native Philippines because of her felony convictions and for falsely claiming to be a U.S citizen.

In 1995, Taniguchi was named in a 22-count federal indictment charging her with intercepting and cashing refund checks when she worked for Straub Clinic & Hospital and Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. After pleading guilty to bank fraud and tax charges, she was sentenced to five years in prison.

In her appeal of the deportation order, Taniguchi insisted she is a U.S citizen, that she was denied equal protection and that her former attorney was ineffective.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a California district court's ruling in 2000, upholding the deportation.

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