Eduardo Juarez, El Diario Columnist, Sued by Cuomo for Immigrant Rip-Off Scams

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Edward Juarez says the mission of his International Immigrants Foundation is "to help immigrant families and children achieve their aspirations for a better life in the United States." But New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo says the mission of Edward Juarez (aka Eduardo Juarez aka Edward Juarez-Paglioccio) was to defraud immigrants "with false promises of citizenship" and charge them exorbitant fees for it, for which Cuomo is suing him and two of his companies.

Cuomo says immigrants were lured into Juarez' webs by ads, and also by Juarez's own weekly column in El Diario, where he served as an "immigration columnist" -- until today, when El Diario announced it was pulling his column ("We will cease publication of his weekly column pending the resolution of the lawsuit and other legal matters"). Juarez also announced his services on his "The Immigrant's Voice" radio show Thursday nights on Amor 93.1 FM, and his TV show on Azteca America on Saturday nights.

The AG is suing Juarez, his Foundation, and another Juarez outfit called International Professional Association, and seeks to shut down the organizations and provide "restitution" to their victims, some of whom have separately filed suit against Juarez and these companies.

Cuomo says Juarez's immigrant clients paid reasonable-sounding fees up front, but were later "charged at least several thousand dollars more to have immigration papers prepared and filed." Also, instead of useful immigration services, these immigrants were issued "International Citizen Photo Identification Cards" and told these would entitle them to legal help if they got in a jam, which subsequent jams proved false. And, the complaint says, the organizations have no staff lawyers, and often use non-lawyers (including Juarez himself) to give clients legal advice which is "often wrong as a matter of law."

The complaint accuses Juarez and his non-profits with "systemic self-dealing through transactions with for-profit businesses in which he or his family holds a financial interest" -- which reminds us of the recently-publicized results in Cuomo's Espada investigation. Juarez allegedly "looted" the non-profits; though the amount of his looting is not revealed, Juarez apparently has been living large with a house in Jersey, a midtown apartment, a luxury car, etc.

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