White-Collar Crime

Fugitive Immigration Lawyer Arrested After 2 Years on the Run, Authorities Say


A Utah immigration lawyer who has been considered a fugitive since violating pretrial release conditions in a federal visa fraud case has been caught at the U.S. border, near a California-Mexico entry point.

James Hector Alcala, 44, was criminally charged in 2009, along with his law firm and other defendants, in an alleged conspiracy to encourage immigrants to enter the U.S. illegally under fraudulent visas, KSTU reports.

The Deseret News also has a story and a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah provides further details.

At a hearing before a federal judge in San Diego after his Christmas-day arrest on a fugitive warrant, Alcala waived his right to contest removal to Utah. His law license in Utah has been suspended.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Immigration Law Firm Charged with Visa Fraud”

ABAJournal.com: “Suspicious Lawyer Reported Law Firm; One Counsel Arrested During Bar Exam”

New York Times (2009): “Some Lawyers Said to Prey on Illegal Immigrants”

Salt Lake Tribune (2011): “Family torn apart by fraud scheme waits for justice”

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