Investigators Say There Are Likely More Immigration Victims of Disbarred Lawyer
Posted Sep 28, 2012 6:15 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough
At least 10 people paid a disbarred South Carolina lawyer for immigration services he didn't provide and authorities say they expect more victims to surface.
Former Hilton Head lawyer Michael George Wyman, who opened Wyman's Immigrant Angels Inc. in March, was charged this week with 10 counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, the Island Packet reports.
Wyman's company advertised full-service immigration assistance before its sudden closing in September. That's when police started getting reports from customers who maintained that paperwork they paid to have done was never filed with the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the Island Packet and South Carolina lawyer discipline records, Wyman was disbarred in 2002 and had been sentenced to jail for embezzling nearly $700,000 during a real estate deal.
Reid Trautz, director of practice and professionalism with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tells the publication that there's an emerging issue with workers who are leaving accredited immigration services to start their own businesses and maintaining they have the credentials to do so.
"They're violating the law, and probably because they can get rich doing it," Trautz is quoted saying.