- United States
United States Travis County State Court has authorized the Texas Attorney General’s office to freeze the assets of an Austin based immigrant consultancy company. The Attorney General’s office had alleged that Just For People Inc. and its other affiliates have violated the State’s laws by offering immigration consultancy services without authorization and making false promises to its clients for assistance in a number of immigration related matters.
Scott Jenkins, Travis Count state District Judge, granted the request of the prosecutors to seize the assets of Just For People Inc. and also issued a temporary restraining order against the company as well as its directors and business associates.
Elizabeth Gabriella Paneque, as director of the company and Frank Alarcon Marimon and Muz L. Guerrero as co-directors of the company was named in the suit filed by Attorney General this month. Ayan Mohamed Ismail, the co-owner of a related business called Lead God, was also named as an affiliate along with Paneque, Marimon and Guerrero.
Investigations had lead the Attorney General’s office to believe that about 23 clients had paid the company for its immigration services. The company’s clients paid consultation fees as high as $50,000 to gain legal status or bring in other family members to United States. None of the clients ever received any promised services from the company, which is in direct violation of the State’s deceptive trade practices laws, the lawsuit said.
The Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against the company alleging it for using deceptive means to defraud vulnerable immigrants. The directors of the company that claimed itself to be providing immigration and visa consultancy services to immigrants, used to promise clients to assist them in their immigration procedures to procure their desired immigration status in United States. Charging their clients with hefty consultation fees, the company never delivered contrary to its bold and false claims.
Majority of their clients were Spanish speaking people, who visited the company for assistance in obtaining US citizenship. The company was used to claim help them obtain legal residence papers, work visas and other immigration assistance after charging a fee, without delivering any of promised service.
When these clients, who had paid large amounts of money to the company, would demand for deliverance, they were responded with threats in return.
“Defendants prey on one of the most vulnerable group of consumers in Texas, individuals in the United States,” the lawsuit said. “Instead of helping these consumers, defendants take their money, sometimes a substantial amount of money, provided no assistance, and then threatened the consumers with deportation when they complain.”
Investigations also showed that all of the furniture in their offices and homes was rented, to ensure timely escape in case of any emergency, so to speak.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office, Teresa Farfan said, “There is a lot of fear involved in these cases. People are afraid of being deported, so they do not bring it to the authorities’ attention.” Farfan also said that these sorts of cases are becoming more common in Texas, and every now and then the office is faced with such a situation targeting illegal immigrants.
Tags: Fraudulent Consultant, Immigration, Just For People Inc., Scott Jenkins, Teresa Farfan, Texas Attorney General’s office, Travis County State Court, United States, United States of America, US Immigration