LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Victims of a San Fernando Valley man who practiced immigration law without a license are eligible for restitution, the Los Angeles city attorney said.
Jesus Lozano, who was the target of an undercover investigation, pleaded no contest to practicing law without authorization, failing to post proper bonds as required by the Immigration Consultant Act and violating a permanent injunction barring him from practicing immigration law.
“Preventing immigration fraud schemes from ripping off families and destroying their dreams is a top priority,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “This conviction sends a strong message that we will prosecute those who prey on the immigrant community to the fullest extent of the law.”
The State Bar will assume control of Lozano’s law practice and will be able to contact any additional victims, return client files and act on their behalf in court if necessary, according to Feuer.
Sentencing for Lozano, 52, was delayed for three months to allow Feuer’s office to identify the amount of restitution owed to clients who have not yet come forward.
The defendant faces between 90 and 120 days in jail, depending on his level of cooperation with the rest of the investigation, according to Feuer’s office. He will also be placed on three years of probation.
Lorenzo had twice been found in contempt of court for violating a 2003 permanent injunction resulting from a civil lawsuit by Neighborhood Legal Services for the unlicensed practice of immigration law.
A complaint that Lozano was continuing to illegally give legal advice led undercover investigators with the county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs to make a December visit to his Van Nuys office at 6320 Van Nuys Blvd.
They solicited legal advice from Lozano on immigration issues, which he provided in violation of state law and the 2003 injunction, resulting in the criminal charges, according to Feuer’s office.
Victims of immigration consultant fraud should call the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 593-8222.