Edwin Cruz-Perez and Maurice Terry have repeatedly violated previous orders to stop providing unqualified immigration services to Washington residents, according to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who filed criminal charges against them in Pierce County District Court.

Share story

Two Pierce County men who have a history of defrauding immigrants with unqualified services were charged Friday with more of the same.

Edwin Cruz-Perez and Maurice Terry have repeatedly violated previous orders to stop providing unqualified immigration services to Washington residents, according to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who filed criminal charges against them in Pierce County District Court.

In 2011, Cruz-Perez and Terry agreed via decree to stop engaging in unqualified immigration services after they were investigated by the attorney general. The decree also imposed $8,000 in penalties and fees.

In 2014, a private lawsuit against Cruz-Perez and Terry revealed they had continued providing immigration services. Following that, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Vicki Hogan permanently barred them from providing any immigration assistance.

Hogan required the pair to pay $356,449 in civil penalties, restitution and attorney’s costs and fees.

“To this day, they have not made any payments,” the Attorney General’s Office said.

In the most recent case, investigators from the Attorney General’s Office found that Cruz-Perez and Terry continued to provide immigration services from July 2016 through June 2017.

Friday’s criminal charges allege Cruz-Perez and Terry committed one count of contempt. Cruz-Perez has also been charged with three counts and Terry with one count of prohibited practices.

The two could face up to 364 days in jail and fines up to $5,000 per count.

“Providing false or inaccurate information can ruin lives and force families apart,” Ferguson said. “Cracking down on those who defraud immigrants is a focus of my office.”

Cruz-Perez and Terry called themselves “immigration consultants” under company names EC New Horizons and EC Horizons, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Over a three-year period, the pair agreed to provide legal advice and prepare documents in 480 immigration cases.

“Neither are, nor ever have been, attorneys in Washington or accredited to assist Washingtonians in immigration matters,” the Attorney General’s Office said.

Several Washington residents said they received services from Cruz-Perez and/or Terry in 2016 and 2017, investigators found. All of the clients stated that the two helped them apply for immigration visas, residency or citizenship.