Consumer Protection from the Unauthorized Practice of Law Victory in Texas

Consumer Protection from the Unauthorized Practice of Law Victory in Texas

Paul Parsons writes: "Cristo Vive, Christian Social Services, Inc, formerly known as Cristo Vive para Inmigrantes (Christ Lives for Immigrants), has been unlawfully providing immigration legal advice for years in Austin, Texas. This organization was never recognized as an accredited Board of Immigration Appeals non-profit, charitable group for providing immigration legal services.  On August 30, 2013, the attached Agreed Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction (AFJPI) was entered into by the individuals who ran this unauthorized agency and the Office of the Attorney General of Texas' Consumer Protection Division.  Some of the provisions of this AFJPI include:

Cristo Vive, Cristo Social Services, Inc ("Cristo Vive") is to be dissolved;

All client/consumer files are to be turned over to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General;

Civil penalties assessed include $200,000 against Jorge Sanchez; $50,000 against Maria Rodarte Sanchez; and $50,000 against Leslie Boudreau;

Attorney fees are assessed against Jorge Sanchez in the amount of $250,000;

Restitution of $250,000 is made available to victims from any date on or after September 1, 2008;

A Claims Administrator will be appointed and efforts made to contact victims and return their files; and

A lien has been placed on certain real estate held by Cristo Vive and/or some of the individual defendants.

The OAG Consumer Protection Division has vigorously targeted immigration scams in Texas for a number of years.  This Agreed Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction is a significant victory in the struggle to protect aspiring immigrants and their families from the unauthorized practice of law."