On January 14, 2010, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo obtained a temporary restraining order against the International Immigrants Foundation, Inc. (“IIF”), International Professional Association, Inc. (“IPA”), and their President Edward Juarez.
As a result of the order, the organizations must refrain from providing immigration services and from soliciting new clients. To help handle the organizations’ existing clients and to protect innocent victims, the Office of the AG and several New York legal associations have made a plan to coordinate their efforts.
The Attorney General filed a lawsuit against these organizations alleging that they have been defrauding immigrants with false promises of citizenship, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and illegally charging exorbitant fees for services.
It has become apparent that Attorney General Cuomo is cracking down on fraudulent and unauthorized immigration-related services in New York. In the past few months, the Attorney General shut down four businesses for providing legal services to thousands of immigrants without being licensed to do so.
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If you have been a victim of immigration assistance fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or visit www.ag.ny.gov.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has published a brochure titled: “Don’t Be a Victim of Immigration Fraud,” which provides basic information on how to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim.