Two Arrested for Attorney Impersonation Scheme
SAN ANTONIO – Two men were arrested yesterday in San Antonio on criminal charges related to their alleged involvement in an attorney impersonation scheme.
According to court documents, beginning in December 2019, Jose Maria Guerrero, 68, of Olmos Park, and Rodolfo Solis Zepeda, 75, of San Antonio, devised a scheme to have Guerrero, who is not a licensed attorney, impersonate Zepeda, who is a licensed attorney, in telephonic immigration court hearings. Guerrero was formerly a Texas licensed attorney who resigned from the Texas bar in lieu of disciplinary actions in 2016.
Zepeda, or one of his employees, gave Zepeda’s law firm’s business phone number to the immigration court for use during the telephonic hearings. The call from immigration court was then forwarded to Guerrero’s personal cell phone. Guerrero would claim to be Zepeda and proceed with the hearing.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents identified at least 100 different occasions where Guerrero appeared as Zepeda before immigration courts.
Guerrero and Zepeda are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and five counts of false statements. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison on each of the six counts. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee made the announcement.
HSI is investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Chung is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.