A 46-year-old Bronx man has been charged with pretending to be a divorce attorney and stealing fees from unsuspecting victims, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.
Jose Barrera was indicted in state Supreme Court on Monday on charges of scheme to defraud, petit larceny and practicing or appearing as an attorney without being admitted to the bar.
According to prosecutors, Barrera placed advertisements for legal services in local newspapers, including El Diario and amNewYork. Three women met with him and paid him more than $1,500 to help them obtain divorces.
Barrera then emailed each of them documents titled “Action for Divorce,” which he asked them to sign and have notarized. The women became suspicious when Barrera cut off communication, prosecutors said.
The case is People v. Barrera, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 3910/2012.
For the prosecution: Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Gross.
For Barrera: Michael Croce.