Tijuana man who posed as immigration attorney arrested for defrauding clients

Alberto Rodrigo Garcia of Tijuana, Mexico, was taken into custody by special agents for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements’ (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Garcia was arraigned on felony charges of grand theft and practicing law without a license. He is believed to have scammed at least 2 victims who paid over $5,000 for legal advice and filing immigration papers.

After receiving a tip, HSI began to investigate Garcia and found that he had stamps, receipts, and business cards advertising his professional services as an immigration attorney. “According to a case affidavit, Garcia met with at least two victims on separate occasions and offered to file paperwork to legally immigrate one man’s spouse and another man’s fiancée.” Garcia was also given birth and marriage certificates, photos, and payments for filing required paperwork for his victims.  One of his clients went looking for him to check up on the status of his case and was told Garcia no longer worked at the office and had opened a new one in Tijuana.

With the case still unfolding, investigators are looking for other potential victims that were scammed. “Our office does not tolerate scammers who take advantage of innocent victims,” said proseucting attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “Our Economic Crimes Unit does an outstanding job prosecuting these types of cases and bringing a measure of justice to those who were defrauded.” Those with information are strongly urged to call in and provide officials with assistance in finding other victims who fell prey to Garcia.

Sadly, we hear stories of unlicensed attorneys, notarios and scam artists on a surprisingly frequent basis.  When looking for a trustworthy immigration attorney, it is advised to ensure that they are licensed by their state bar association and important to do your research. If you are looking for an immigration attorney, contact us at 314-961-8200.