El Mensajero (English)

Posted: August 14, 2014

Immigration scam restitution available

ROCHESTER -- Immigrants who were defrauded by two immigration service organizations may apply for restitution through a fund created by the state attorney general's office.

Thousands of victims who paid fees to the International Immigrants Foundation and the International Professional Association may be eligible for restitution, according to an announcement last month by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. The victims were charged for services that were not lawfully rendered, he stated.

Victims of misconduct by the two organizations suffered both financial and legal consequences, Schneiderman stated. One individual was eligible to obtain a Green Card, but lost his opportunity due to the organizations’ delay and negligence, despite paying more than $18,000 in fees and costs to them. Other clients were subject to deportation and many overpaid for services by thousands of dollars.

The New York Legal Assistance Group will administer the compensation process, which is the final phase of a settlement agreement that resolved the attorney general's lawsuit against the two organizations for misleading clients about their legal credentials and guaranteeing results. Their excessive fees also were inconsistent with their alleged charitable purpose.

Clients who paid for and received legal services from either organization may submit a claim form by Oct. 23. Forms and instructions for completion are available at http://nylag.org/IPA. For more information, call 212-514-4265 or send an e-mail to restitution@nylag.org.

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