LOS ANGELES—A Los Angeles woman pleaded not guilty on Friday, January 12 to 17 felony counts for allegedly operating a fraudulent immigration services business, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reported.
Dalila Moreno, 63, faces charges of grand theft of personal property, forgery, counterfeit seal and extortion in case BA462322. Her next scheduled court appearance is a preliminary hearing setting on February 13 in Department 50 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
According to prosecutors, Moreno ran the immigration business from her home between May 7, 2011, and October 31, 2014, falsely promising to expedite the processing of visas, resident alien cards and citizenship petitions for her clients and their families.
Moreno allegedly told victims she worked for the government and had special government connections. She allegedly pretended to provide services by creating false visas and passport stamps, collecting $129,000 from 13 victims without providing the promised services. She faces up to 14 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail was set at $550,000.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Human Trafficking Bureau and the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division. The case is being handled by Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba.
Investigators believe there may be other victims and are asking those victims to call the Consumer Protection Division’s hotline at (213) 257-2465.