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Press Release

Mississippi Woman Sentenced for Making False Statements to New Orleans Immigration Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that MARINA ARNEDO ROJAS-ZAYED, age 34, a resident of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to one count of making false statements to an agency of the United States.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced ROJAS-ZAYED to three years probation, a $500 fine, a $100 special assessment, and 200 hours of community service.

According to court records, from on or about July 2012 until on or about August 2013, ROJAS-ZAYED represented before the New Orleans Immigration Court that she was a licensed attorney in the state of Alabama, when in truth she knew she was not a licensed attorney. During hearings before the New Orleans Immigration Court, she appeared and assumed the role of attorney for aliens, albeit fraudulently. When Immigration Judges referred to ROJAS-ZAYED as “counsel,” she did not dispel the judges of this notion or attempt to correct the record. Additionally, ROJAS-ZAYED entered her notice of appearance on behalf of aliens in approximately 42 immigration cases before at least five different Immigration Courts in the United States. Specifically, she submitted numerous documents to the Immigration Courts indicating she was a licensed attorney, although she is not.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Julia K. Evans was in charge of this prosecution.


Updated February 4, 2016