Edier Alberto Alvarez stole $74,000 from more than 40 victims seeking assistance with their immigration cases
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Queens man, who misrepresented himself as an immigration attorney to immigrants seeking assistance and stole $74,000 in total from more than 40 victims, has been sentenced today to 364 days in jail.
Edier Alberto Alvarez, 36, of Queens, N.Y., pled guilty on November 18, 2021 before Judge Teresa K. Corrigan to grand larceny in the fourth degree (an E felony). He was sentenced today to 364 days in jail.
This plea and sentence were the result of a joint effort between the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Unit at the New York Asylum Office; and the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
“This defendant posed as an immigration attorney and stole tens of thousands of dollars from dozens of victims who believed they were his clients, exploiting them as they attempted to navigate the legal system with sensitive immigration matters,” said DA Donnelly. “We encourage anyone who believes they may have been victimized to contact the NCDA Office of Immigrant Affairs at (516) 571-7756.”
Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz said, “This defendant preyed on vulnerable immigrants seeking citizenship in the United States. The victims were duped by this charlatan who took their money and dashed their hopes. I want to thank the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and our other law enforcement partners for their dedication to bringing justice to the 40 victims in this case. Anyone who believes they have been similarly victimized please call us at 718-286-6690. We are here to protect you regardless of your immigration status or the language you speak.”
According to the investigation, between 2017 and 2019, while the defendant was working as a paralegal in a Nassau County law office that focused on immigration law, the defendant misappropriated payments from his employer and employer’s clients who were seeking assistance with their immigration cases and misrepresented himself as an attorney to prospective clients of the firm, accepting money directly from them to assist with their cases. In both instances, the individuals seeking help paid money and did not receive any services.
During the course of the investigation, the NCDA learned that the Queens County District Attorney’s Office had also received complaints from seven additional individuals in 2020 alleging that Alvarez had been passing himself off as an immigration attorney or immigration specialist, accepting money to provide assistance to “clients,” and failing to do so.
In total, Alvarez received approximately $74,000, which includes money taken from his employer and from over 40 victims in Nassau and Queens.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office wishes to thank the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Unit at the New York Asylum Office, and the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.
If you believe you were the victim of Edier Alvarez, please contact the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs at (516) 571-7756.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Betty Rodriguez of the Financial Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Geoffrey Stewart, Esq.