Fake immigration lawyers defrauding desperate Haitians, NY AG says

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo sued several companies posing as immigration lawyers and service providers, taking advantage of Haitian immigrants desperate to extend their legal status in the U.S. after the January earthquake that killed almost a quarter-million.

The lawsuit alleges the Brooklyn-based companies and their owners, who are not lawyers, provided legal advice, immigration and representation services without being authorized. In addition, the complaint states, they demanded exorbitant fees -- as high as $1,300 -- for processing applications that could be submitted for free. The allegedly phony lawyers also took on cases even when their clients were not eligible to stay in the U.S., and charged them even when no processing or legal help were provided.