New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office has established a $2.2-million fund for immigrants seeking restitution from two nonprofit groups that collected payments with false promises of securing legal status for clients, the New York Daily News and Reuters report.
The now-shuttered International Immigrants Foundation and International Professional Association were led by Eduardo Juarez, a prominent figure in Spanish-language media who dispensed immigration advice on television and radio and in a newspaper column.
The fund arose from a settlement the attorney general reached with the nonprofits, which charged undocumented immigrants thousands of dollars apiece for help securing work and residency permits. Mr. Schneiderman said many of the groups' clients were overcharged, received little or no service, and sometimes ended up facing deportation. He said individuals eligible to make claims from the fund could do so "without fear of reprisal."
Authorities alleged Mr. Juarez used monies paid to the groups to finance a lavish lifestyle. He has not been charged criminally and admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.