Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker is set to announce a $15.1 million court judgment against a fraudulent immigration consulting business that preyed on Oakland families seeking legal U.S. residency.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Colwell issued the judgment ordering American Legal Services to pay $15.1 million in penalties and damages on Nov. 7, according to court records.
Colwell also issued a permanent injunction on Oct. 28 barring the company and several individuals associated with it from acting as immigration consultants.
The two orders followed a non-jury trial in Colwell's court Oct. 21 and 22 on a lawsuit filed against the company by the City Attorney's Office in 2010.
Office spokesman Alex Katz said the financial judgment is the largest ever won by the city in litigation.
Katz said the company advertised itself as a legal service, although none of its employees were attorneys, and defrauded victims by making false promises of citizenship.
Katz said some victims lost their life savings and some were subjected to deportation proceedings because of botched immigration applications.