Fraudster posing as lawyer arrested

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a Tijuana man allegedly posing as an immigration attorney.

Alberto Rodrigo Garcia
Alberto Rodrigo Garcia was arrested on November 1, 2012 for swindling and impersonating an attorney, when he was not licensed to practice law (Photo courtesy: ICE).

Alberto Rodrigo Garcia, 50, of Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested yesterday at the Otay Mesa port of entry on state charges that he defrauded at least two people. From his office in San Ysidro, Mexico, Garcia apparently defrauded clients by charging them to perform immigration legal services without a license to practice law.

This Monday, Garcia is due in court, where he will be arraigned on felony charges of theft and practicing law without a license.

HSI began investigating Garcia in May after receiving a complaint. So far, the investigation has identified two victims who paid Garcia more than $$5,000 for what they believed were legitimate immigration services. Investigators suspect that others may have been victims of the same scam.

According to investigators, Garcia met with at least two victims on separate occasions and offered to file documents to legally immigrate one man's spouse and another man's girlfriend.

Garcia promoted his business using cards that identified him as a professional law firm.

His victims reported that they gave Garcia personal documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, passport photos, and payments to submit the required documentation. When one of the victims went to the San Ysidro office to inquire about the status of her case, she was told that Garcia no longer worked there, but had opened a new office near the U.S. consulate in Tijuana.

If you have information about the case or have been a victim of Garcia, please call 619-550-5183.