Woman accused of posing as attorney

February 20, 2012 10:01:32 AM PST
A woman charged with posing as an attorney went before a judge Monday morning. She's accused of preying on the fears of immigrants who were worried about being deported.

Prosecutors say the suspect, Elizabeth Scott, targeted Mexican immigrants, allegedly taking their cash in exchange for a service she couldn't provide.

The woman goes by both Elizabeth Scott and Elizabeth Ramirez. She is accused of posing as an immigration attorney and scamming illegal immigrants out of thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors say Ramirez would tell Spanish-speaking immigrants she specialized in immigration issues. She would say she could keep them and their families from being deported and that she had connections with ICE officials.

The person who turned her over to authorities gave Ramirez $5,000 in exchange for legal help that she never delivered.

"I know of about seven or eight, but based on some documents we recovered I believe there are more victims that are probably fearful of coming forward," explained prosecutor Wendy Baker. "I would like to talk to family members, maybe, of the victims, things like that."

The Harris County District Attorney's office says if you have given Ramirez any money thinking that she was an immigration attorney, you can call the Financial Crimes Division at 713-755-8333.

Ramirez is charged with felony impersonation. She faces between two and ten years behind bars if convicted. She is out on $10,000 bond.

Reminder from DA's office -- if you plan to hire an attorney, always check the state bar, to make sure that attorney is licensed with the state they claim to be practicing in.