Attorney General Becerra Files Additional Criminal Charges, Names New Defendant in “Oficina Guerrero” Fraud Scheme Targeting Individuals Seeking Immigration Relief
LOS ANGELES — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed new grand theft charges against brothers Edgardo and Hector Guerrero, who operated “Oficina Guerrero” in Inglewood. According to the complaint, the Guerrero brothers defrauded undocumented immigrants and their families seeking lawful permanent residence in the United States. They charged thousands of dollars for legal services that they were not legally qualified to dispense and failed to maintain a required bond. Edgardo’s wife, Sidia Landaverde, was also charged today for her role in the scheme.
“Fraud is fraud, regardless of the immigration status of those being exploited,” said Attorney General Becerra. “All families in California deserve protection from unscrupulous individuals who unlawfully take advantage of fear and vulnerability within our communities. At the California Department of Justice, we will prosecute this exploitation to the fullest extent of the law.”
In addition to the charges filed in March, Edgardo Guerrero and Hector Guerrero now face 23 additional counts of grand theft. Edgardo Guerrero and Sidia Landaverde have been charged with three counts of tax evasion. Landaverde was also charged with conspiracy to violate the Immigration Consultant Act. Landaverde surrendered today, August 24, in Los Angeles. All three defendants have posted bail.
Those who paid Oficina Guerrero for immigration assistance and believe they may have been defrauded are encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs at (213) 974-1452. Complaints, which may be filed anonymously, can also be filed with the Attorney General’s Office through our web page or by calling our office at 1 (800) 952-5225.
The California Department of Justice has a long history of pursuing scammers who prey on individuals needing legal assistance or advice on their immigration status. In March, Attorney General Becerra issued a consumer alert warning Californians to be wary of scam artists or untrained immigration consultants who prey on immigrants by falsely holding themselves out as legally qualified to assist with immigration matters. The consumer alert can be found here. It is also available in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.
A copy of the amended complaint is available here.