The State Bar of California obtained an interim order to shut down an unlicensed law practice that targeted and took advantage of immigrant farmworkers.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court order assumes jurisdiction of the unauthorized law practice, which allows the State Bar to close it and reclaim client files and other records of the office of Vincent Enriquez. Enriquez has been doing business as NVE Associates, Inc.
The court order obtained by the State Bar also authorizes it to freeze any bank account associated with the office and includes an injunction against Enriquez.
A court date is set for Dec. 11.
No one answered the phone Friday when a call was placed to Enriquez’s office.
The State Bar maintains that Enriquez offered legal services to farmworkers on California’s Central Coast, portraying himself as an immigration attorney. He was retained by several people in Santa Maria, ensured them they qualified for green cards, and provided legal advice.
He then allegedly filed asylum applications that resulted in removal proceedings being initiated against two of the clients. Enriquez has fraudulently charged over $12,000 in legal fees in these two matters, the State Bar alleges.
The State Bar says it has previously sent cease-and-desist notices to Enriquez regarding his practice of law. When he did not comply with those notices, the State Bar says, it initiated these additional enforcement actions.
The State Bar says it will try to return seized client files or documents to Enriquez’s former clients and inform them that it may be in their best interest to seek other legal counsel. Former clients should contact the State Bar directly at (213) 765-1636 to inquire if any of the seized documents or files belong to them.
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