Action 4 confronts accused immigration attorney
Fri, 26 Aug 2011 04:27:18 GMT —
Joel Tovar has not returned calls to Action 4 News for nearly two months.
The so-called immigration attorney is accused of scamming illegal immigrants.
Victims told Action 4 News Tovar promised to get them U.S. citizenship, took their money and didn't do the work.
Tovar was in a Cameron County Court Thursday facing an assault charge.
That's where Action 4 News finally caught up with him.
Tovar said he has been sick.
He said he doesn TMt even have a phone for clients to reach him.
When asked if he would pay clients back for the services they didn TMt receive, Tovar said he TMs working on it.
Victims said I'm working on it is an excuse they TMve heard too often from Tovar.
That is until they stopped hearing from him at all.
Action 4 News spoke with a grandma in Brownsville.
She is just one customer who said she can TMt get in touch with Tovar.
The grandmother is in the U.S. illegally and did not want to be identified.
Not only did she say Tovar owes her $1,000.
She said he's also holding onto her immigration documents.
With nearly all her family in the U.S., the grandma told Action 4 News she fears deportation to Mexico.
She said she's afraid to return to her old neighborhood now filled with cartel violence.
Tovar offered no comfort to his clients responding with no comment to most questions.
He said he would call Action 4 News with more answers after his court hearing.
Tovar has yet to do so.
Tovar is not registered with the State Bar of Texas.
It TMs unclear whether or not he is allowed to practice immigration law in the state.