New lawsuit shines light on immigration lawyer fraud

Two lawsuits filed in Superior Court allege immigration lawyer fraud

We have written extensively about immigration fraud perpetrated by Immigration Consultants. Sadly, now it’s the immigration lawyer’s turn.

According to two lawsuits filed in San Francisco Superior Court this week, an immigration lawyer defrauded thousands of people looking for a better life in the United States over a career spanning more than three decades.

The lawyer, Martin Resendez Guajardo, has since been disbarred.

The ins and outs of immigration lawyer fraud

Guajardo is accused of charging extremely high and unnecessary fees while not doing the proper legal footwork to give his clients what they paid for, along with giving out just plain bad advice. In one cases, he charged $70,000 for work that would normally cost around $6,000. He had also been disciplined by the California State Bar at least twice in the 1990s for misconduct, and eventually resigned from the bar in 2008 because he was facing more problems. However, he continued to practice law without a license and did not inform his clients of this.

Avoiding immigration lawyer fraud

With what may be your life’s savings, livelihood and future on the line, it’s important to do your research and avoid immigration lawyer fraud.

Firstly, beware of some immigration consultants because the Canadian government is still dealing with reports of shady immigration consultants taking people’s money without doing any work. While the government has made a few changes, the industry is still not regulated properly in Canada, not to mention those outside of Canada. In most cases, people who run into problems with these consultants will have little recourse.

Ask your family, friends and co-workers about their dealings with immigration lawyers. It’s easier to remember a bad experience than a good one, and you’ll likely find some names to cross of your list or even a positive recommendation.

Don’t hesitate to use Google If the lawyer has an established practice, it’s more than likely you will find reviews and recommendations on several business sites online to avoid immigration lawyer fraud. There are of course, no guarantees.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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