News & Politics

Phony Immigration Attorney Gets Nine Months In Jail For Screwing Chinese Immigrant Out Of More Than $100k

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A Manhattan woman who posed as an immigration attorney to scam a Chinese immigrant is heading to the hoosegow.

Jennifer Lam, 39, pleaded guilty in March to one count each of grand larceny in the third degree and unadmitted and unregistered practices as an attorney for scamming the immigrant out of more than $100,000. Today, Lam was sentenced to nine months in jail.

“Con artists who pose as fake attorneys and target our immigrant
communities will be punished,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance says. 

In August 2010, Lam told the victim that she was an immigration
attorney who could file a green card application on his behalf so he
could gain permanent residency in the United States.

Lam solicited more than $14,000 in money orders from the victim. She
told him to leave the money orders blank so she could use the money to
write checks to various agencies for filing fees. Lam, however, never
filed any paperwork for the victim and just pocketed the money.

The victim also lent Lam $100,000 that she claimed was needed to
support her law practice. Considering Lam isn’t a lawyer, her claim was
bullshit, and she again pocketed the cash.

In addition to the jail time, Lam is forced to repay the money she conned out of the victim — roughly $114,000.

Vance says anyone who feels as though they’ve been scammed by an
immigration fraudster should call the Manhattan District Attorney’s
Office’s Immigrant Affairs Program Complaint Hotline at 212-335-3600 — regardless of their immigration status.