News Releases

October 23, 2018: Upland Man Pleads No Contest in Immigration Services Scam

Contact: 
Paul Eakins, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

An Upland man was sentenced today to five years in county jail and must pay more than $400,000 in restitution for running a fraudulent immigration services business, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Augusto “Tito” Gonzalez De La Cruz, 58, pleaded no contest to seven felony counts of grand theft and admitted an allegation of a loss of property valued at more than $200,000, according to
Deputy District Attorney Ryann Gerber Jorban of the Consumer Protection Division.

Gonzalez De La Cruz was immediately sentenced to jail, to be followed by four years of mandatory supervision, as part of thenegotiated plea agreement. He was ordered to pay a total of $404,000 in restitution to the 35 victims listed in the amended criminal complaint.

From January 2006 through February 2018, Gonzalez De La Cruz received payment from the victims for immigration services they never received. He claimed to be an immigration attorney and falsely promised to expedite the processing of visas, resident alien cards and citizenship petitions, among other services.

Fifteen people were named as victims when charges were filed in February. Another 20 victims were subsequently identified with the help of a telephone hotline set up by the District Attorney’s Office.

The victims were primarily from Los Angeles County.

The Azusa Police Department investigated case BA465267.