An El Paso County District Court ordered a Colorado Springs business, the Immigration Center, to stop doing business today, saying it has been defrauding customers wanting help completing immigration forms.
The Office of the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against owners Charles Doucette, Deborah Stilson and Alfred Boyce, in August accusing them of posing as the federal government.
The business advertised itself as being able to help immigrants obtain and complete various immigration forms in exchange for fees ranging from $300 to $700, according to the complaint.
The Immigration Center’s non-refundable fees were identical to the fee the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would charge for filing the forms, which were available free of charge from the federal government.
The Immigration Center also did not provide consumers with assistance from attorneys or anyone with expertise in immigration law.
Under the court’s order against the Immigration Center, the business will be barred from its services and will be required to pay the state a total of $2.5 million in restitution and civil penalties.
The court also approved a settlement between the state and Doucette. Under the settlement Doucette and Stilson will pay $85,000 in fines and restitution and will not be allowed to engage in the business of selling government forms or assistance with those forms.
The Immigration Center also did business under the names U.S. Immigration Center, ImmigrationHelpLine.org, U.S. Government Help Line, Liberty Legal Services, Maydene Media, Immigration Forms & Services, and Immigration Forms & Documents.