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UPDATE: Immigration list suspects take plea deals, avoid jail

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The women believed responsible for creating and sending a list of supposed illegal immigrants appeared in court Monday to accept plea deals that will keep both of them out of jail.
Teresa Bassett (Salt Lake County Jail)
Teresa Bassett (Salt Lake County Jail)
Teresa Bassett - London Grace Wellington (Marcos Ortiz, ABC 4 News)
Teresa Bassett - London Grace Wellington (Marcos Ortiz, ABC 4 News)
The Immigration List (ABC 4 News)
The Immigration List (ABC 4 News)
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The women believed responsible for creating and sending a list of supposed illegal immigrants appeared in court Monday to accept plea deals that will keep both of them out of jail.

Teresa Bassett, also known as London Grace Wellington was charged with two 3rd Degree Felony Computer Crime counts, and accepted a plea deal, as ABC 4 reported she would ten days ago.

Bassett appeared in court at 1:30 p.m. wearing a white wig and a red hat, where she was formally charged, arraigned and sentenced.

Bassett received a suspended sentence of three years probation. The felony convictions will be reduced to two misdemeanors if she completes her probation without further violations. She was also ordered to perform 250 hours of community service, which was designated to be performed with the state emergency preparedness program.

Bassett admitted to no wrongdoing, while conceding that prosecutors could likely prove their case, which is similar to pleading "no contest."

Utah Latino leader Tony Yapias has previously expressed concern that neither of the two "list" suspects might not serve any jail time.

Another woman named Leah Carson appeared in court earlier to face lesser charges for her role in the list creation.
Teresa Bassett confronted by Latino community leader Tony Yapias (pool, Salt Lake Tribune)
Teresa Bassett confronted by Latino community leader Tony Yapias (pool, Salt Lake Tribune)
Teresa Bassett (pool, Salt Lake Tribune)
Teresa Bassett (pool, Salt Lake Tribune)
Carson pleaded guilty to a Class C misdemeanor of making false statements regarding unemployment.

"I want to apologize for my actions," said a tearful Carson in court. "They were really stupid."

Prosecutors told the court that Carson had cooperated with the investigation and was remorseful for her actions.

"I'm glad she's taken responsibility from the very beginning," said Assistant Attorney General Scott Redd. "She's shown a great degree of personal character realizing she made a pretty serious mistake and being willing to correct it. She's also done what I think she can do in order to pay for that mistake."

Redd said Carson was approached by Teresa Bassett (London Wellington) while both were employed with the Department of Workforce Services. 

"I don't have any information that this was Ms. Carson's idea," Redd said.  "I think she was approached by a co-worker (Bassett) to provide information for a particular purpose. She did that. She realized part way through the process what she was doing was probably wrong and she ceased that. But by that time, a lot of the release had already occurred."

When he was asked why Carson went along with the release of the information, Redd said he didn't know why she agreed to do it.
Teresa Bassett (pool, Salt Lake Tribune)
Teresa Bassett (pool, Salt Lake Tribune)
Leah Carson (Dan Salmon, ABC 4 News)
Leah Carson (Dan Salmon, ABC 4 News)
He did imply that Carson may have been used by Bassett.

"It certainly has the appearance of that," he said.  "I'm not going to say it was voluntary but it certainly wasn't coerced."

She was sentenced to one year probation and a $790 fine. The judge suspended $350 of the fine.

Both women worked for the Utah Department of Workforce Services when the list was sent to local media outlets and law enforcement agencies in July of 2010.

The list was a compilation of names of people thought to be in the country illegally, which was accompanied by a cover letter suggesting the people on the list ought to be deported.

The letter also suggested that some women on the list were pregnant, and should be deported immediately to prevent them from giving birth in the U.S.

Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for more on this story.


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