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Be Careful Who You Work With: Woman in Tampa Sentenced to Confinement for Unlicensed Practice of Law

Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Originally posted on ILW.com.

2013.1017.Jail

USCIS successfully prosecutes unlicensed immigration attorney thanks to tip from the Central Florida Chapter of AILA.

TAMPA – The efforts of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services led to the successful sentencing of a Tampa-area woman on September 18 to six months confinement, six months home detention and three years of probation for falsely using official seals of the United States.  Maria Virginia Constantinou pleaded guilty on May 29 to falsely using the seal of the Department of Homeland Security to perpetuate her unlicensed practice of immigration law and defrauding dozens of victims to pay her “legal fees” to help them obtain lawful immigration status.

USCIS learned about Constantinou’s activities from a tip from the local American Immigration Lawyers Association. That tip was investigated by USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate and resulted in subsequent charges against Constantinou.  Tampa and Orlando FDNS worked with agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to bring the case to prosecution.

“We at USCIS are proud to have generated this case for successful prosecution,” said Kimberly Dean, Chief of FDNS in the Southeast Region. “Constantinou victimized immigrants for personal gain and misrepresented USCIS. We are committed to combatting deceptive practices to ensure the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”

According to court documents, Constantinou presented herself to immigrants in the Tampa Bay and Orlando areas as an attorney who could assist them with immigration proceedings with the U.S. government. In reality, Constantinou is not a licensed attorney.

Constantinou accepted payment from her victims based on the false statement that she would submit immigration paperwork for them. Constantinou would then produce documents that appeared to be from USCIS to the victims to make them believe she had submitted paperwork on their behalf. These documents were false and contained false seals of the United States. Constantinou never submitted paperwork to USCIS on behalf of her victims.

USCIS launched an initiative to combat the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law with the goal of equipping applicants, legal service providers and community-based organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices. Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for more information.

Victoria Jaensch Karins is the current president of the Central Florida Chapter of AILA. For more information regarding this release please contact her via telephone: 941-366-9841.


Ten cuidado con quién trabaja

Condenan a una mujer quien ejercía la ley de inmigración sin licencia a seis meses de reclusión.

Originalmente publicado en ILW.com.

 

USCIS, con la ayuda del capítulo de la Florida Central de la Asociación Americana de Abogados de Inmigración (AILA) procesa con éxito a una mujer quien ejercía la ley de inmigración sin licencia.

TAMPA – Los esfuerzos de los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de EE.UU. (USCIS) llevó a la condena el 18 de septiembre a una mujer del área de Tampa.  Está condenada a seis meses de reclusión, seis meses de arresto domiciliario y tres años de libertad condicional por uso falso de sellos oficiales de los Estados Unidos.  Maria Virginia Constantinou se declaró culpable el 29 de mayo al uso falso del sello del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional para perpetuar la práctica no autorizada de la ley de inmigración y al estafar decenas de víctimas quienes le pagaron “gastos legales.”

USCIS aprendió sobre las actividades de Constantinou por un informe del capítulo de la Florida Central de AILA.  La investigación por el USCIS dio lugar a las siguientes cargas contra Constantinou.  Los Departementos Federales de Seguridad Nacional (FDNS) de Tampa y Orlando trabajaron con agentes de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) para llevar el caso al juicio.

“Nosotros en USCIS sentimos orgullosos de haber generado este caso para su enjuiciamiento exitoso”, dijo Kimberly Dean , Jefe de FDNS de la Región Sudeste.  “Constantinou perjudicó a inmigrantes para beneficiarse personalmente y tergiversó a USCIS.  Estamos comprometidos con la lucha contra las prácticas engañosas para asegurar la integridad del sistema de inmigración de nuestra nación”.

Constantinou se presentaba a los inmigrantes en la Bahía de Tampa y Orlando como abogada que les podría ayudar en los procedimientos de inmigración con el gobierno de EE.UU.  En realidad, Constantinou no es un abogado con licencia.

Constantinou aceptaba el pago de sus víctimas basándose en la falsa afirmación de que iba a presentar documentos a inmigración en sus nombres.  Constantinou entonces producía documentos que parecían ser de USCIS para hacerles creer a sus víctimas de que los había presentado. Estos documentos eran falsos y contenían falsos sellos de los Estados Unidos.  Constantinou nunca presentó documentación al USCIS.

USCIS puso en marcha una iniciativa para combatir el ejercicio no autorizado de la ley de inmigración con el objetivo de dotar a los solicitantes, proveedores de servicios legales y de las organizaciones basadas en la comunidad con el conocimiento y las herramientas necesarias para detectar y protegerse de las prácticas deshonestas.  Visite www.uscis.gov/avoidscams para más información.

Victoria Jaensch Karins es el actual presidente del Capítulo de la Florida Central de AILA.  Para obtener más información acerca del acontecimiento, por favor póngase en contacto con ella a través del teléfono : 941-366-9841.

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Written by Chris Jaensch

Chris Jaensch

Attorney P. Christopher Jaensch received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1992 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1995 from the University of Florida. While at UF, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa Society and Florida Blue Key, the oldest and most prestigious leadership honorary in the state of Florida.

Mr. Jaensch is a member of the Florida Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Sarasota Bar Association. He has served as President of the Sarasota-Manatee International Trade Club and served as Regional Vice Chair, Tampa Bay, for the Central Florida Chapter of AILA. He was a member of City of Sarasota Charter Review Committee and has been active in several local organizations, including the influential Laurel Park Neighborhood Association in downtown Sarasota.

Mr. Jaensch has over 18 years of experience in the field of immigration and nationality law and focuses his practice on four primary categories (a) investors and entrepreneurs, (b) business executives, managers and professionals, (c) amateur and professional athletes and coaches and (d) performing artists and immigrants with extraordinary ability.



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