This was published on the website of the Office of the City of San Francisco (Nov 17, 2010):
Herrera sues ‘notorious predator’ over unlicensed immigration law services
Case against Martin R. Guajardo seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and restitution to victims
SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 17, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against a disgraced former lawyer for running an illicit immigration law practice that for more than two years defrauded clients and devastated the lives of the immigrants and family members who sought his counsel. Martin Resendez Guajardo is described as “one of San Francisco’s most notorious predators” in Herrera’s 21-page civil complaint, which details a shocking pattern of corrupt and deceptive business practices that fleeced clients of their life savings, and frequently resulted in adverse rulings, deportations and broken families. Also named in the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning are Christopher Stender, a licensed attorney alleged to have aided and abetted Guajardo’s unauthorized law practice, and the Immigration Practice Group, P.C., the professional corporation Guajardo is believed to control.
Herrera’s lawsuit alleges multiple violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law by Guajardo, Stender, Immigration Practice Group, and potentially others. If successful, the case could result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation, disgorgement of all profits, restitution to victims and tough court-ordered injunctions. To immediately stop Guajardo and his colleagues from defrauding their immigrant clients, Herrera is also seeking a preliminary injunction to force them to immediately cease their unauthorized practice of law and to notify their clients that Guajardo is no longer a lawyer.