Crime & Justice

Newport Beach attorney sentenced in immigration, bank fraud cases

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer addresses reporters to announce plans to crack down on immigration scam artists. City and county officials are also planning outreach efforts to warn immigrants eager to apply for deportation relief under President Obama's new immigration plan, who are vulnerable to scams.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer addresses reporters to announce plans to crack down on immigration scam artists. City and county officials are also planning outreach efforts to warn immigrants eager to apply for deportation relief under President Obama's new immigration plan, who are vulnerable to scams.

Prosecutors say a Newport Beach attorney has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in a scam that targeted immigrants in the country illegally who were being held in detention and awaiting possible deportation.

The Los Angeles Times reports Gino Paul Pietro defrauded six defendants and their families by asserting that his investigator could settle their criminal and immigration cases. In each of the six instances, the defendant or their family sent $3,000 to Pietro's client trust account. None of the cases were resolved.

The 54-year-old Pietro was also convicted in a bank fraud case in which fabricated documents were submitted to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For the immigration and bank fraud cases, Pietro was sentenced to serve a total of 30 months in prison.