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Wisconsin participates in nationwide task force to curb immigration services fraud

 

MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has joined forces with a number of federal agencies and other states in a nationwide effort to combat immigration services scams. The initiative, called “Combating Immigrations Services Scams,” targets illegal activity by immigration service providers, including the unauthorized practice of law by persons claiming to provide legal assistance to immigrants (such as “notarios”), and other illegal practices that victimize immigrants.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice recently obtained a judgment against a Milwaukee resident, Hugo I. Loyo, and his company, Credenciales USA, LLC for marketing and selling fake international driver's licenses and state identification cards in Milwaukee County by falsely claiming that the identification cards authorized consumers to drive legally in the United States and could be used as valid photo IDs. The defendants were ordered to pay $385,519.90 and are enjoined from conducting business in further violation of the law.

 

“Not only is this type of conduct illegal, but it deliberately preys upon vulnerable consumers,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “My office will continue to work with other state and federal agencies to prevent and curtail immigration services scams.”

 

The targets of these scams are generally immigrants with limited English language proficiency. In an effort to educate these consumers, the federal government has prepared informational materials in a variety of languages, including sources of legitimate immigration-related assistance. Those materials are available here:

 

http://www.uscis.gov/avoidscams

 

Attorney General Van Hollen encourages anyone who believes there may be immigration services fraud occurring in Wisconsin to contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's Consumer Information Hotline. The Hotline can be contacted by e-mail at DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov or by a toll-free telephone call to 1-800-422-7128.