NY State Orders Two Businesses Shut Down
- Friday, February 04, 2011 8:07 AM
- Acessos: 2551
Two businesses in Brooklyn are being ordered to shut down by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for conning Haitian immigrants out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
The Flatbush companies - Rincher's Bookstore, run by Deslande and Sharlene Rincher, and Profimax Inc., run by Fred Pinard - charged immigrants for legal advice even though they didn't have lawyers on staff and in many cases.
The attorney general's office allege that these businesses after the earthquake in Haiti began charging people hundreds of dollars each to file Temporary Protected Status paperwork which would have allowed them to work in the U.S. Many of the people who paid for the services weren't eligible for the program in either case and others could have had their application fees waived by the U.S. government.
Former New York Governor Cuomo began investigating the businesses last summer when he was attorney general, but the legal action came under Schneiderman's watch.
The Rinchers and Pinard were given 45 days to shut down their businesses and are permanently barred from offering any sort of immigration-related services and face fines of more than $25,000. Victims who can prove they were bilked by Rincher or Profimax may qualify for restitution.
A receptionist at Rincher's told the NY Daily News it was still open for business, but wouldn't comment on the case.
Pinard did not return a call for comment.
Schneiderman pledged to keep up the pressure saying "we will continue working aggressively to root out fraud wherever it exists, and that includes bringing those who prey on the immigrant community to justice."