Lawyer convicted of practicing without a license and cheating immigrants

An immigration lawyer was sentenced today in New York to serve between one and three years in prison for defrauding undocumented immigrants of more than $140,000 while practicing after his license was revoked, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office reported.

According to the statement from the Prosecutor’s Office, Carlos Moreno, 61, collected thousands of dollars that he charged undocumented immigrants for his legal services between September 2017, when his license was suspended, and the end of September 2018.

Moreno’s license was suspended after an investigation revealed that he defrauded clients by claiming he could get them a “10-year visa” that would regulate their immigration status for that time. This type of fraud against undocumented immigrants is very common.

Moreno assured his clients that undocumented immigrants who had resided in the US for more than a decade could obtain residency, a fraud known as the “ten-year green card scam,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in the statement.

He further indicated that as a result, some of his clients unknowingly put themselves at risk of being deported from the country.

Moreno pleaded guilty in 2018 in the New York State Supreme Court to scheme to defraud and practice as a lawyer after being disqualified from practicing that profession and was sentenced today.

Between 2015 and 2018, Moreno deceived two clients with this fraud scheme, as he admitted when pleading guilty.

In both cases, he filed an asylum application without the knowledge or consent of the immigrants, despite knowing that it would be rejected and that it would lead to deportation proceedings.

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