A Bronx man was recently arrested after being accused of posing as an immigration attorney in order to steal money from impoverished and undocumented clients. The accused is a 68-year-old man named Edwin Rivera, and it is now the third time that he has been arrested for stealing money from clients. Rivera was working out of a storefront in the Bronx, called “Immigracion Hoy News Today,” which was located on Zerega Ave.
The clients whom Rivera conned were people seeking permanent residency in the U.S. He took advantage of people who did not have much money, and were hoping to come to this country to make a better life for themselves. Since 2005, Rivera has been under a state court order barring him from being an attorney. Since 2008, he has been barred from all immigration work.
According to Roberto Lebron of the attorney general’s office, prosecutors hope that Rivera will serve up to six months in jail this time. Rivera is also required to pay $34,331 in restitution.
Rivera’s deceitful actions have had a large negative effect on people who put their trust in him to help them lead better lives. One anonymous victim of Rivera’s scheme states that he was in debt $10,000, which he had borrowed from his family. As a result, some of his family members became angry with him. The issue has given him a lot of anxiety and has further opened his eyes to the fact that people cannot always be trusted.
For years, Edwin Rivera, has been preying on undocumented clients and conning them out of their money. He collected the clients’ legal fees in order to fill out their immigration applications. The applications were filed improperly or not at all, and Rivera did not refund their money.
According to Bronx Supreme Court Justice Betty Owen Stinson, Rivera has been violating court orders to stop the false advertising and “immigration services.” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that the office is committed to protecting all New Yorkers from unscrupulous immigration service providers. This case just further underscores the office’s dedication to this cause.
It’s important not only in New York City, but in communities all around the country, local courts are fighting for the rights of those who immigrate to our country. Catching these phony immigration service providers is a key part of the fight for immigrant rights. Until every fake immigration service is put out of business, we must keep working to make sure that immigrants are provided with the best services possible.