Attorney General Lockyer Files Charges Against More Unregistered "Immigration Consultants"
(SAN RAFAEL) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today obtained a temporary restraining order against another unbonded Bay Area immigration consultant business, prohibiting it from operating until a bond required by law is filed.
"State law requires individuals and businesses that advertise or portray themselves as ‘immigration consultants' to file a $50,000 bond with the state before they open their doors for business," Lockyer said. "The bond is for the protection of consumers who, sadly, are ripped off each year by unscrupulous individuals who take their money and either don't provide the services they promised or provide services without proper licenses, putting the consumer's financial and legal status at risk. We will continue to close these operations down until the abide by state law."
Named in the complaint were Carmy Mishell Moscoso and Maria Moscoso, the proprietors of Moscoso Services/Moscoso Income Tax Service in San Rafael. The defendants, who advertise that they serve clients in Marin, Sonoma, Contra Costa and Solano counties, are alleged to have violated state law by operating as immigration consultants without filing the required bond.
The temporary restraining order was issued by Marin County Superior Court Judge John A. Sutro, Jr. The defendants also face stiff penalties for operating without a bond and will have to reimburse the state for its costs in bringing the suit.
The action follows similar lawsuits filed by the Attorney General against three unbonded San Francisco immigration consultants last week. Since 2001, charges have been filed against 14 unlawful immigration consultant companies.
The Attorney General's Office of Immigrant Assistance has developed a brochure, "Immigration Services: Protecting Your Consumer Rights," which is available in seven languages: Armenian, Chinese, English, Hmong, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. The brochures can be viewed at www.ag.ca.gov/immigrant/publications.htm. Individuals who believe they are victims of immigration consultant fraud should call the Attorney General's Office of Immigrant Assistance at 1-888-587-0557.