Fake legal representation has long been a problem in Southern California, especially in Los Angeles County. Notarios, or notarios publico, have plagued Latin American communities for decades, offering bogus legal and immigration services to those around them. In most instances, these criminals take advantage of the immediate dilemma many immigrants and their families face once they enter the country – obtaining legal resident status.
Unfortunately, such crimes often go unreported simply because the victims believe they have nowhere else to turn. In fact, over the past 10 years only 328 complaints of illegal immigration consultations have been reported and of those, only 30 were prosecuted. A new city-county task force has been appointed to follow up on these complaints, but the language barrier and overall distrust of authorities remains a stumbling block.
Additionally, many of these notarios go beyond typical immigration scams and can head right into full-fledged legal malpractice. The LA Times recently ran a report on one such individual and his story is one that should serve as a warning for anyone seeking proper representation.
After a decade working with near impunity, Jesus Lozano was arrested this past December for practicing law without a license, acting as an immigration consultant without registering with the state, and violating an earlier injunction – a grand total of three-misdemeanor criminal counts.
For years, Mr. Lozano had fleeced Spanish-speaking immigrants and residents throughout Southern California, posing as a personal injury attorney and telling his victim’s whatever they needed to hear. Despite being caught and prosecuted multiple times, Mr. Lozano continued to defraud the very community he lived in. As part of his current conviction. Lozano must serve 90 days in jail and depending on the final tally, repay the damages he deliberately caused.
Legal malpractice is a very real problem and affects hundreds of Californians every year. If you believe you were the victim of legal malpractice, the last thing you may wish to do is speak with an attorney. But with the help of Kahn Roven, LLP you can take back what was taken from you and receive the reliable representation you deserve. Call us at (213) 738-0708.