“Daily News: Fake Bronx Lawyer Still Scamming Immigrants, AG Schneiderman Says”
December 27, 2017
As published by The New York Daily News, on December 26, 2017.
A fake Bronx lawyer with a history of conning immigrants is up to his old tricks, the state’s top prosecutor said Tuesday.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Vincent Gonzalez is a phony immigration attorney who now has some real problems — prosecutors want to force him to pay millions in sought-after penalties, fines and restitution.
They also want a judge to punish Gonzalez with a 30-day jail stay.
The AG’s office filed a criminal and civil contempt motion against Gonzalez for allegedly violating a 2010 court order.
Back then, a court ordered Gonzalez, 56, to quit fronting as a lawyer and offering immigration services.
But the new contempt motion claims Gonzalez didn’t learn his lesson — and kept up with the crooked services through his business, God-Man Society Club Inc.
GMSC’s website openly boasted about offering legal services, the AG’s office noted.
Gonzalez allegedly made at least 527 court appearances in the past seven years and held himself out as a lawyer while raking in hefty fees from unsuspecting clients.
The AG’s office received two client complaints on Gonzalez in 2015.
The office carried out two undercover operations which, it said, helped bust Gonzalez.
In one instance, the undercover investigator told Gonzalez she had a whole bunch of legal headaches to deal with, like an Ecuadorian boyfriend in Miami who needed a divorce.
Gonzalez allegedly said he could help her out.
When the investigator asked Gonzalez if he’d be the lawyer, he said he was “a processor and that within the building there are lawyers but that he does everything,” court papers say.
Gonzalez needs cash.
Manhattan Supreme Court records show he was slapped with a $6.7 million money judgment in the 2010 court order.
But Gonzalez hasn’t made any payments on the sum, the filing said.
“It’s unconscionable that a scammer would prey on immigrants in order to make a quick buck — and it’s even more egregious to continue to do so in violation of a court order,” Schneiderman said.
Gonzalez referred comment to his lawyer, Oliver Storch.
“Obviously Mr. Gonzalez is saddened by these allegations,” Storch said. “We’ll address these matters in the appropriate forum.”