LOS ANGELES – Continuing his focus on stopping scams targeting immigrants, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has filed multiple criminal charges against a San Fernando Valley woman, her immigration consulting business, and two associates following consumer complaints and an undercover investigation. On at least two occasions alleged actions by the business have adversely impacted the immigration status of victims.
"My office continues to fight to prevent immigration fraud schemes from ripping off families and destroying their dreams," said City Attorney Feuer. "Scam artists who attempt to victimize immigrants will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
“The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs is committed to educating, defending, and speaking up for the County’s most vulnerable residents,” said Brian J. Stiger, Director. “If you believe you’ve been a victim of an immigration service or any other scam, we want to help you.”
Gloria Dora Saucedo, 65, and her business Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional, Inc. (7915 Van Nuys Boulevard) were each charged with five misdemeanor counts including; three counts of failing to comply with the Immigration Consultants Act and two counts of unlicensed practice of law. Business associates Carmen Onchi, 27 and Maria Chavez, 33 were also charged with one count of unlicensed practice of law. If convicted, Saucedo faces up to five years in jail and $32,000 in fines. The other defendants could face up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Arraignment is scheduled for April 15, 2016 in Department 48 of the Criminal Courts Building. Deputy City Attorney Onica Cole is prosecuting the case.
In September 2012, the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) received a complaint from a consumer alleging that she had paid $4,275 to employees from Hermandad Mexicana for assistance in obtaining a U Visa. The customer allegedly did not receive any service and was later denied an immigration petition for failure to submit the requested documentation. Investigators subsequently conducted three undercover investigations in 2014 and noted numerous violations of the Immigrant Consultant Act including employees allegedly providing legal advice on two occasions.