AG Brnovich files lawsuit against "Notario Publico" for alleged consumer fraud targeting spanish-speaking community

Phoenix - Attorney General Mark Brnovich today announced the filing of a consumer fraud lawsuit against a Tucson business accused of offering fraudulent legal services. The complaint alleges Ofelia Olivas Lizarraga, who did business as Multiservicios Olivas, LLC, falsely represented that she was qualified and authorized to provide legal advice and prepare legal documents on immigration, divorce, and other legal matters.

“The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has zero tolerance for individuals or businesses that prey on our Spanish-speaking community,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Lizarraga was a commissioned notary public until December 2014 when the state revoked her commission. She allegedly continued to advertise 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.” The complaint alleges that 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 complaint also alleges a consumer hired Lizarraga to prepare and file the paperwork necessary to obtain permanent legal residency in the U.S. in exchange for payment of nearly $1,000. Lizarraga allegedly failed to perform the promised services or to refund the consumer’s money. The complaint requests that the court prohibit Lizarraga from engaging in the activity alleged by the State, that it order her to pay civil penalties, costs, attorney’s fees, and consumer restitution, and that she be required to release to the State all monies that she received as the result of her alleged illegal activities.

Brnovich added, “I encourage the public to contact my office if they believe they have fallen victim to fraudulent legal advisors or any deceitful or unfair business acts or practices.”

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 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 more information, contact the Attorney General's Office at (602) 542-5025.

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