36-year-old Jessica Godoy Ramos has been accused of posing as an immigration attorney and representing several immigrants seeking legal citizenship status, charging thousands of dollars for services she never provided. Ramos allegedly assumed the identity of a New York lawyer with a similar name and stole her bar license number allowing her to work undetected for several years.
A criminal complaint against Ramos claims her clients believed she was a legitimate lawyer until many of them showed up for appointments at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that were never scheduled. Though Ramos filed immigration petitions in some cases, it is alleged that she performed no tasks for some of the clients she billed. In addition, she allegedly issued counterfeit immigration parole documents with which a client was able to enter the U.S.
In February Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) received information from the USCIS concerning five individuals represented by Ramos who tried to pick up green cards that did not exist, resulting in the decision to open an investigation.
USCIS Los Angeles District Director Donna Campagnolo stated, “People who wish to file for benefits with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have a right to proper representation. This case is a good example of all agencies involved working together to ensure that the integrity of the program is preserved and individuals are able to retain proper representation to aide them through the process.”
Ramos was arrested Wednesday on alleged charges of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted she could serve up to 22 years in federal prison.
If you or someone you love is suspected of fraud, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.