Notario or legal consultant fraud involves self-styled "notarios" who falsely hold themselves out, particularly in immigrant communities, as capable of providing legal representation, who collect fees, but who cannot perform the promised legal services. This process could harm the victims both monetarily and non-monetarily, since they could miss important deadlines, file incorrect paperwork, and could unknowingly give false information which might lead to deportation. There are reports of notarios providing services in family, landlord & tenant, and traffic cases as well as immigration.
As non-lawyers, notarios are not subject to Bar discipline. They are, however, subject to both civil and criminal enforcement actions. CCE has convened a group of stakeholders who have been meeting monthly on this issue to share information about notario activity in this region and strategize on governmental and private enforcement actions to stop their activities. The large group includes prosecutors from DC and Montgomery County, DC police, other DC officials, federal officials, and a variety of legal service providers and advocacy organizations.