(CN) – A class action claims that two men both claim to be the General Counsel for Mexico’s Consulate in Dallas, and that one of them works for the other, an attorney, who pays bribes and kickbacks for “the right to be the exclusive referral attorney for all the potentially lucrative injury cases from the families of the victims that come to the Consulate for help.”
“When you step inside the Consulate you step into a lawless world where rules do not exist, where corruption, ethical violations, bribery and kickbacks reign supreme,” according to the complaint in Dallas County Court.
The complaint names as defendants Alvino Guajardo, the General Counsel for the Mexican Consulate, and Pablo Alvarado P.C.
It claims that “Alvino Guajardo is an employee of defendant Law Office of Pablo Alvarado, P.C., and purports to be the General Counsel to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, Texas.”
It claims that “Pablo Alvarado is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. Alvarado also purports to be the General Counsel to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, Texas.”
Guajardo held himself out as an attorney for years, and as an employee of the Consulate, though he was neither, according to the complaint.
The complaint states: “Hispanic people, ignorant of the laws, policies and procedures of the United States call upon the Consulate for help under the logical, but misguided impression that the Consulate is looking out for their best interest. However, in far too many cases, the ‘help’ these people receive from the Consulate is a referral to Guajardo and Alvarado, P.C., who are not concerned with their people’s best interest; they are only concerned with how much money they can get for themselves through these cases. These ’employees’ and/or ‘volunteers’ at the Consulate are making important decisions that affect people’s lives every day, but are not concerned about the person who came in needing their assistance; instead, they are looking out for their own interests and the interests of the ‘Patron,’ Pablo Alvarado. Upon information and belief, Alvarado provides kickbacks, cash payments, and significant favors to Consulate employees in return for ‘special privileges’ in and around the Consulate. One of those special privileges that the ‘Patron’ gets is the right to be the exclusive referral attorney for all the potentially lucrative injury cases from the families of the victims that come to the Consulate for help.
“Unbeknownst to the victims’ families, they are referred to Guajardo and Alvarado P.C. to be their lawyer not because of Guajardo’s and Alvarado’s qualifications, but rather because of the kickbacks, cash payments, and significant favors they give to Consulate employees. In fact, it is common practice for Alvarado, P.C. to take cases that either they are not qualified to handle or that they know they are not going to handle in the first place, but rather that they intend to refer or sell on to other lawyers that the ‘clients’ have never met or spoken to. On information and belief, neither Guajardo nor Alvarado, P.C. actually handles the cases that they solicit from the Consulate, as neither of them have the requisite trial experience or qualifications to do so. In fact, both Alvarado and Guajardo have testified that they have never taken a personal injury case to trial and are not qualified to do so.
“Alvarado is not alone. Many of his directives are carried out by his longtime henchman and right hand man, Alvino Guajardo. Guajardo has been stationed at the Consulate by Alvarado since he was a law student, and he, too, receives the same ‘special privileges’ that are afforded to ‘el Patron’ Alvarado. Several other lawyers also perform pro bono work at the Consulate; however, they do not receive the same privileges and special treatment passed on to Alvarado and Guajardo because they do not ‘take care’ of the Consulate employees the way Alvarado and Guajardo do. …
“Guajardo is only there [at the Consulate] to recruit clients for Alvarado … his authority at the Consulate is second to none. For example, there is a box I the Consulate where Mexican citizens applying to have their loved one’s body shipped back to Mexico or looking for assistance with funeral expenses place their applications. No one in the Consulate is allowed to touch the box – which receives approximately 45 applications per month – until Guajardo sorts through the applications and decides which applications would be ‘good cases.’ … For several years Guajardo held himself out as a lawyer for the Consulate, when in fact he was neither a lawyer nor an employee of the Consulate. … Guajardo has gone so far as to get ID cards and business cards from the Consulate to commit a fraud on the persons who came along looking for help.”
Plaintiffs demand damages for deceptive trade, misrepresentation, fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy and emotional distress. They are represented by Lawrence Friedman with Friedman & Feiger.