PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Northeast Philadelphia woman pleaded guilty in an immigration fraud scheme last week. On Thursday, one of her alleged victims and the defendant herself spoke exclusively to CBS3.
Christine White, of Port Richmond, says she and her husband were chasing the American dream, trying to change his immigration status so he could stay in the United States legally. They say they sought help from Molina’s Multilegal Services out of an office in Northeast Philly.
It’s operated by the 56-year-old Ana Molina.
“She had us thinking that he was going to get his green card, his permanency,” White said.
White says she handed over some documents and a couple of thousand dollars to Molina.
“We did everything she asked us to do and she never did nothing,” White said.
When asked if Molina identified herself as an attorney, White said, “Yes, she did. She identified herself as an immigration attorney.”
But later, White’s husband was deported to his native Dominican Republic.
CBS3 spoke with him by video chat.
“He said, ‘I’m sad, but I’m OK,” White said.
Last week, Molina pleaded guilty in federal court to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft after federal prosecutors say she posed as an immigration attorney and offered bogus legal advice to several undocumented immigrants.
Since then, two additional victims contacted CBS3 saying that Molina also pretended to be an attorney for them.
But on Thursday, Molina spoke exclusively with CBS3, saying prosecutors and her accusers have part of the story wrong.
“I never posed as an attorney. I refer them out to an attorney,” Molina said.
CBS3 asked Molina why federal investigators say she faked being an immigration attorney.
“Unfortunately, what happens is sometimes you cannot please people,” Molina said. “And unfortunately, this is a big, huge, torturous lesson I am learning.”
Molina now faces anywhere from two years to 148 years in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April.
If you think you were a victim of Ana Molina, tell us your story HERE.