LOS ANGELES – As part of his multi-faceted action plan to address fraud perpetrated against immigrants, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has secured a conviction and full restitution for victims of a San Fernando Valley man, Jesus Lozano, who was the target of an undercover investigation into the unlicensed practice of immigration law. The California State Bar will assume control of Lozano’s law practice and will be able to contact any additional victims, return client files, and act on their behalf in court if necessary.
"Preventing immigration fraud schemes from ripping off families and destroying their dreams is a top priority," said City Attorney Feuer. "This conviction sends a strong message that we will prosecute those who prey on the immigrant community to the fullest extent of the law."
Jesus Luna Lozano, 52, entered a plea of no contest to three criminal counts including; the unauthorized practice of law, violating the Immigration Consultant Act for failing to post proper bonds, and violation of a permanent injunction. Sentencing for Lozano was delayed for three months to allow the City Attorney’s Office to complete its investigation, with Lozano’s full cooperation, in order to identify the amount of restitution owed to individual victims who have not yet come forward. At the time of sentencing, upon Lozano’s cooperation, the defendant shall serve between 90 to 120 days in jail and be placed on three years’ probation.
In 2003, Lozano was subject to a permanent injunction following a civil lawsuit by Neighborhood Legal Services for the unlicensed practice of immigration law. Since then, Lozano has been found in contempt of court on two separate occasions for violating the permanent injunction.
Following a recent complaint that Lozano was continuing illegally to give legal advice, undercover investigators with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs visited Lozano’s office at 6320 Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys. In December, 2014, the undercover investigators solicited legal advice from Lozano on immigration issues. Lozano provided legal advice to the undercover investigators in violation of California Law and in violation of the 2003 permanent injunction. Deputy City Attorney Onica Cole successfully prosecuted the case.
The conviction of Lozano is part of a comprehensive enforcement and education campaign launched by City Attorney Feuer, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and legal aid organizations to address immigration scams in advance of the implementation of the President’s executive orders on immigration. City Attorney Feuer’s comprehensive efforts include educating immigrants to navigate the new laws and avoid being ripped off. In the past two months, the City Attorney has successfully hosted two community meetings on immigration in South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Future town hall forums will continue to serve as an opportunity to offer services to help immigrants with the application system, educate consumers on how to avoid being scammed and intake actual complaints if someone has been a victim of fraud.
Individuals who believe they have been a victim of immigration consultant fraud should contact the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 593-8222.