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Beware of Notarios “Practicing Law”

In the field of Immigration Law, it is not uncommon to encounter individuals or businesses advertising as “Immigration Consultants” or “Notarios.” The danger in relying on these types of individuals or services for legal advice is inherent. These agencies are not run by or sanctioned by an attorney or licensed practitioners and often wind up hurting, rather than helping innocent victims.

Just this week in Los Angeles, California, Gloria Dora Saucedo was arrested and criminally charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney, with Unlicensed Practice of Law in the immigration field. The Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer revealed that they had been following undercover, Ms. Saucedo and her business called Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional Inc., for close to two years. According to Mr. Feuer, she has been charged with five criminal counts.

Ms. Saucedo preyed upon immigrants who put their trust and dollars into her care when she failed to properly help her clients. Since she is not an attorney, she faces up to 5 years in prison, if convicted of the charges for the Unlawful Practice of Law.

Ms. Saucedo allegedly took advantage of immigrant families who paid her to file their paperwork for lawful permanent residency, but she never did. She allegedly took thousands of dollars from hard working individuals who were given incorrect information about their immigration cases.

In one instance, Maria Delgado told reporters that Ms. Saucedo took over $1000.00 from her to look into her case. Ms. Saucedo incorrectly advised Ms. Delgado that her immigration case was “closed.” Ms. Delgado later discovered that her case had actually been denied, because Ms. Saucedo had not informed her that she had been scheduled for an interview with USCIS and therefore did not appear. Ms. Delgado also lost access to her deceased husband’s social security benefits because of this misadvise.

In another case, Ms. Saucedo was paid over $2500.00 to represent a client, but the client was ordered deported from the United States because Ms. Saucedo failed to file the requisite paperwork with immigration authorities.

When Ms. Saucedo was interviewed and asked about the charges she stated to reporters that she was sorry for what had happened and blamed “miscommunication” on the problems that occurred with her clients. She also claimed that she has apologized to her victims and that she never intended to hurt anyone.

The office of Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional, where Ms. Saucedo was interviewed is still open for business as of today. However, City Attorney, Feuer vowed that he is attempting to have this business shut down when he appears before a judge on April 15th at Ms. Saucedo’s arraignment hearing.

Ms. Saucedo did gain some positive notoriety in the past when she helped Jersey Vargas, a 10-year-old, visit Pope Francis in 2014. Also, last year she worked with Sophie Cruz, aged 5, to travel from California to Washington to visit with Pope Francis, where she met with the Pontiff, who embraced the child. Ms. Saucedo relied on these positive actions to attract unwitting clients, who perceived her as someone who worked with the community for the good of the people.

For a comprehensive and honest evaluation of your immigration case, you can trust the attorneys at Pozo Goldstein, LLP – Atlanta. Contact us now for a free consultation in our office.