LA County man denies posing as immigration lawyer

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Updated: 5/08 7:04 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a man with nine felonies alleging he posed as an immigration attorney and took thousands of dollars from prospective clients.

A district attorney's statement says 53-year-old Michael John Hernandez of Hacienda Heights pleaded not guilty Thursday to six counts of grand theft, two counts of practicing law without a license and one count of perjury.

Prosecutors say Hernandez, who previously practiced law in Florida but has never passed the State Bar of California or been licensed here, set up a law office in Hacienda Heights in 2011 and bilked four clients who were seeking help with their immigration status.

He could get 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts and has been ordered to return to court next month.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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