An Elizabeth, NJ woman, Maritza Chavez, advertised herself to the general public as an Immigration Lawyer. Chavez created a company to help immigrants obtain U.S. citizenship. After a thorough investigation, it was made clear that Chavez was not a Lawyer and her company only helped her to take money from her immigrant customers.
In the course of her business, Chavez would submit citizenship applications with the USCIS that were improperly completed, and/or were filed without the required filing fee. When the applications were rejected and ultimately returned to her with a refund, Chavez would illegally keep the money. When clients called Chavez for an update, she would blatantly lie to them.
As part of a plea agreement, Chavez could be sentenced up to 10 years and required to pay over $100,000 in restitution. Chavez will be sentenced by Judge Robert Mega, NJ Superior Court on March 14, 2014. For more details please review the news articles listed below.
Source of Information:
NJ.com, 1/28/14, News Article:
Elizabeth woman admits $100,000 immigration scam, authorities say
NorthJersey.com, 1/28/14, News Article:
North NJ woman admits role in immigration scheme
USCIS.gov, 8/21/13, Web Page:
Report Immigration Scams