DENVER — Colorado’s Attorney General has reached a settlement with a Colorado Springs-based company accused of practicing law without a license while advertising family and immigration services.
Monday, Attorney General Phil Weiser announced a settlement was reached with One Connection LLC owner Maleni Munguia and her employee, Noely Diaz, after an investigation by the Consumer Fraud Unit of the Colorado Department of Law.
An investigation into the business revealed Munguia and Diaz had been unlawfully practicing immigration and family law without a license.
Rules of the Settlement
Based on the settlement Munguia will be required to:
- Pay restitution in the amount of $20,000, which will go back to consumers who were harmed by One Connection’s deceptive marketing practices
- Submit tax returns and a report of her business activity for the next two years
- Pay an additional $50,000 if she violates this agreement
Additionally, both Munguia and Diaz agreed to close One Connection and refrain from assisting in immigration or family law matters unless under the supervision of a licensed attorney, and refer people who are seeking help in immigration and family law matters to a licensed attorney.
“One Connection repeatedly violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act by practicing law without a license, putting the safety and livelihood of vulnerable individuals at risk,” Weiser said. “This settlement reflects Colorado’s commitment to protecting consumers and ensuring that businesses are operating ethically and within the rule of law.”
The lawsuit was filed after an investigation by the Consumer Fraud Unit of the Colorado Department of Law uncovered evidence that Maleni Munguia and her company, One Connection LLC, as well as employee Noely Diaz, failed to disclose that the business was not authorized to practice law in Colorado.
Under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, individuals must obtain all required licenses to perform services for consumers. According to Weiser, Munguia and Diaz targeted and misled vulnerable communities, including undocumented and non-English speaking individuals.
The lack of low-cost legal services to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking communities has created an opportunity for unlicensed legal practitioners, also known as “notarios,” to step in and promise consumers the help they need to tackle complex immigration, family, and legal matters. The lawsuit issued against One Connection is part of the Department’s greater effort to investigate and stop notario fraud.