What to Know
- Edwin Rivera has been arrested for the third time, authorities say
- He's accused of posing as an immigration lawyer to bilk poor customerse out of thousands
- He faces jail and has to pay restitution, the AG's office says
A Bronx man has been arrested, accused of posing as an immigration attorney in order to bilk money from impoverished and desperate individuals, authorities say.
It's the third time Edwin Rivera has been arrested for allegedly bilking clients seeking permanent residency in the U.S., working out of a storefront in the Bronx, prosecutors said.
Complaints about Rivera to the New York Attorney General's office are familiar: Rivera has been under a state court order since 2005 barring him from being an attorney, and in 2008, barring him from all immigration work.
Roberto Lebron of the attorney general's office says prosecutors hope this time Rivera will serve up to six months in jail: "We're hoping this will serve as a deterrent."
Investigators also say Rivera has to pay more than $36,000 in restitution.
One victim who wished to remain anonymous said his own immigration problem remains unresolved and he is now out $10,000, which he borrowed from his family.
"Some of my family is angry about me," the man said. "It really stress me out, put a lot of anxiety on me. It also tells me how you could be robbed by any individual."
NYCourts.gov does list the name of legitimate attorneys registered to practice law in the state, a smart first step for anyone seeking legal counsel.