Lawyer Indicted for Allegedly Arranging Assistant's Fake Marriage
When it comes to helping close friends, family, or colleagues, attorneys can often be tempted to get around the law, rather than follow the law. The line between zealous advocacy and criminal activity is usually pretty clear. But, so long as that activity doesn't add up to moral turpitude, it's all good, right?
Sadly, no matter how difficult it is to find a good legal assistant, paying someone to lie to the immigration authorities and to marry your legal assistant clearly crosses the line of turpitude. Based on the admission of one "Person A," a Texas lawyer is now facing a federal indictment for allegedly paying "Person A" to marry his legal assistant in order to allow her to continue working.
Details of the Allegations
The allegations seemed to have surfaced due to this "Person A," a naturalized citizen, admitting that he was paid $745 to marry the legal assistant, as well as file fraudulent immigration forms and lie during the marriage interview with USCIS. Additionally, it's alleged that Person A was told to leave some clothes at the assistant's home, in order to maintain the appearance of a real marriage.
Other suggestions on how to make the marriage appear real included filing a joint tax return, creating a joint bank account, and paying bills on a joint residence together. Person A claims that the marriage would end once the assistant could divorce without immigration consequences.
In case this offended your sense of justice, don't worry, the assistant is being charged right alongside her boss. Both are facing conspiracy to commit marriage fraud charges. Those charges, on their own, are no cake walk. Each could be facing 5 years in federal lock up and a quarter million dollar fine.
Is Good Help That Hard to Find?
While it may get bandied about as a joke, finding a good assistant is not easy. It makes sense that an attorney would pull out almost all the stops to keep one they like, but engaging in conduct that jeopardizes your license is just a bad business decision.
Finding new support staff can take some time. Don't be afraid to hire fast, and fire even faster, until you find the right fit.
Have an open position at your law firm? Post the job for free on Indeed, or search local candidate resumes.
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