Immigration Law

Wa. Atty. Gen. Shuts Down Immigration Scammers

Washington State Attorney General, Sept. 14, 2015- "Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a Friday court order against EC New Horizons and EC Horizons requiring repeat offenders Edwin Cruz and Maurice Terry to pay $234,000. Cruz and Terry provided unlawful immigration assistance to over 400 Washington victims. The resolution includes $149,000 in money back for victims.

This is part of Ferguson’s continued effort to combat illegal immigration services and crack down on “notario” fraud.

“Those who prey on Washington residents who are working hard to follow complex federal immigration laws will not be tolerated,” Ferguson said. “Immigration services fraud has dire consequences for Washington families, and my office is committed to prosecuting these fraudsters.”

Repeat offenders

Back in 2011, the Attorney General’s Office sued EC New Horizons and EC Horizons after an investigation revealed that owners Cruz and Terry improperly provided legal advice and represented themselves as immigration consultants. The AGO obtained a court-approved consent decree, prohibiting further violations and imposing $6,000 in costs and fees, plus $37,000 in civil penalties. A large portion of the penalties were suspended, provided Cruz and Terry complied with the consent decree.

That didn’t happen. EC New Horizons preyed upon approximately 400 new victims, providing unlawful immigration “services.”

The AGO filed a motion to enforce the 2011 consent decree to pursue tougher penalties.
On Friday, Pierce County Superior Court’s Judge Vicki Hogan agreed with all of the AGO requests, awarding:
 

  • Approximately $149,000 in restitution for victims.
  • Payment of the previously suspended civil penalties of $35,000, plus an additional $25,000 civil penalty each from both Cruz and Terry for violations of the Consent Decree.
  • An injunction prohibiting Cruz and Terry from further providing any immigration-related services in any capacity.
  • Attorney costs and fees."

- See more at: http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-shuts-down-repeat-offenders-offering-unauthorized-immigration-assistance#sthash.QHwypNnc.dpuf