San Antonio

An alleged fake attorney scheme involving migrant cases leaves two local men with federal charges

Two men are dealing with federal charges after one impersonated an attorney in immigration courtroom. What occurs to the Immigrants who have been fraudulently represented?

SAN ANTONIO — The U.S. Department of Justice is bringing charges in opposition to two San Antonio-area men for allegedly conspiring in an attorney impersonation scheme, based on a Department of Justice launch. 

Court paperwork say a number of migrants have been represented by the impersonator on “at least one Hundred different occasions.” 

While this might imply a major setback in these migrants’ cases, the Texas State Director for the League of United Latin-American Citizens informed KENS 5 their group would try to assist any migrants that attain out. 

According to the Department of Justice, the scheme started again in December of 2019. 

The division launch states, “Jose Maria Guerrero, 68, of Olmos Park, and Rodolfo Solis Zepeda, 75, of San Antonio, devised a scheme to have Guerrero, who is not a licensed attorney, impersonate Zepeda, who is a licensed attorney, in telephonic immigration court hearings. Guerrero was formerly a Texas licensed attorney who resigned from the Texas bar in lieu of disciplinary actions in 2016.”

Court paperwork allege that Guerrero, who couldn’t legally function an attorney, claimed to be Zepeda when representing not less than 5 completely different migrants in immigration courtroom. Guerrero did this utilizing telephonic courtroom appearances throughout the pandemic and did so on not less than 100 completely different events. 

Immigration attorney Gerardo Menchaca informed KENS 5 Thursday this might completely create an issue for the migrants who trusted the attorneys. 

“If the hearing that you already had was done by a non-lawyer, it’s conceivable that the hearing is going to be thrown out and you are going to get a new hearing date. But that new hearing date may not come for years, so the victims are the clients that may need to wait for years to get another hearing to redo the one that they already did,” Menchaca stated. 

Another concern, Menchaca stated, could be that any migrants who paid for the false illustration would then haven’t any approach to get the money again. 

“If you’ve been saving for years to pay a lawyer and now you need a new lawyer, now you have to save again for another five years, that’s going to hurt to. And, heaven forbid, in the meantime you could lose your case,” Mechaca stated. 

The launch states that Guerrero and Zepeda are charged with one depend of conspiracy to defraud the United States and 5 counts of false statements.

Zepeda remains to be capable of apply legislation in Texas based on the State Bar of Texas website. 

KENS 5 reached out to Zepeda’s legislation office a number of occasions Friday utilizing the quantity offered on the State Bar web site, however Zepada’s consultant finally determined to not remark.

 LULAC Texas State Director Rodolfo Rosales Jr. stated they’d try to assist any migrants affected by the alleged scheme if these migrants reached out.     

“They can contact us at our website at lulac.org and they can let us know what their situation is and then we can contact people here in San Antonio. The majority of our attorneys aren’t immigration attorneys, but many of them know immigration attorneys. We can help them find a reputable attorney,” Rosales stated. 

Rosales stated LULAC wouldn’t have funds to pay further attorneys however the group would use their connections to assist any migrants affected by the scheme. 

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