$30,612 Judgment Obtained Against “Notario Publico” Accused of Consumer Fraud

PHOENIX - The Office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich obtained a $30,612 Judgment against a Tucson woman who offered fraudulent legal services to the Spanish-speaking community. Ofelia Olivas Lizarraga, owner of Multiservicios Olivas, LLC, falsely represented that she was qualified and authorized to provide legal advice and prepare legal documents in immigration, divorce, and other legal matters.

“Our goal was to get victims their money back after Lizarraga scammed them out of thousands of dollars,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “I encourage everyone, including our Spanish-speaking community, to contact my office and file a complaint if they believe they have been deceived by any business.”

The default judgment issued against Lizarraga and Multiservicios Olivas prohibits Lizarraga and her company from engaging in any activity related to advertising or providing legal advice, legal document preparation, or any services in an immigration or nationality matter, unless they possess all required licenses, certifications and authorizations to do so.  Lizarraga is also prohibited from representing to consumers that she is a “notario publico” unless she becomes licensed by the State Bar of Arizona to practice law in Arizona.

In 2014, the Attorney General's Office began receiving complaints against Lizarraga who advertised in Spanish that she was a “notario publico.” The term “notario publico” denotes a person who is a legal professional. Arizona law requires a notary public who advertises in a language other than English to conspicuously state, in both English and the language used in the advertisement, the following: “I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice about immigration or any other legal matter.”

Lizarraga failed to disclose that she was not qualified or authorized to provide legal advice or legal document preparation services in immigration and naturalization matters, or in any other legal matter.  The Judgment requires Lizarraga and her company to pay consumer restitution in the amount of $4,130, civil penalties in the amount of $20,000, and the State’s costs and fees of $6,482.

You can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection advocates are also available. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Cherie Howe.

For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.

Full copy of the Judgment.