New York, NY —
New York's Attorney General has shut down one of the state's largest providers of immigration services because it was defrauding customers.
The American Immigrant Federation (AIF) was charging exorbitant fees, giving misinformation, misfiling papers, and using non-lawyers. It had more than 20,000 clients.
It can be difficult to find and prosecute fraudulent immigration lawyers because the people who are conned are in the U.S. illegally and are often afraid to come forward.
That was the case for one Mexican immigrant who heard AIF’s advertisements on the radio and then gave them about $5,000 when they promised to get him working papers. But after five years he had received nothing, and a friend suggested he go to the Attorney General.
As part of its settlement with the Attorney General, the group's owner will pay $1.2 million to the customers she defrauded.