Former immigration attorney Yehlen "Mary" Dorothea Brooks, who had lost her license to practice law, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of grand larceny for defrauding dozens of immigrants who paid thousands of dollars for services she did not provide.
In exchange for their plea bargainingBrooks is expected to receive a five-year split sentence, which could include jail time and a period of probation. He will also have to pay $321,709 in restitution to the victims, who could number more than 100, and $50,000 to the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and the University of California at Davis Immigration Clinic for their efforts to help the victims.
Brooks, 53, was practicing law in Stockton, California from 2003 to 2017. Although he lost his license in 2015, Brooks continued to operate illegally, charging his clients between $$3,000 and $$16,000 to do immigration paperwork. However, he misled his victims about the status of their cases and lied that he had submitted applications and forms to the government for processing while continuing to collect their money, authorities say.
According to the Office of the Attorney General of the State of CaliforniaSome victims who trusted her paid her with "every last dollar" they had and were detained and deported.
If any immigrants believe they have been defrauded by Brooks or anyone else, they can call the state's Public Information Unit at 800-952-5225 or file an electronic complaint. here.