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According to the State Bar of Texas records, Paul Esquivel resigned his Texas Bar license on August 28, 2015.
On June 21, 2016, Paul Esquivel, PLLC, Paul Esquivel PC, and Paul Esquivel individually ("Esquivel Defendants"), and JCP Law Firm & Associates, PLLC, JCP Law Office PC, Juan Carlos Penaflor individually, Olvia Martinez individually ("JCP Defendants"), entered into an Agreed Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction with the Texas Attorney General ("TX AG"). The TX AG had previously filed a lawsuit in the form of an Original Petition on September 21, 2015, against the Defendants. This is a final action and the parties agree that all allegations are fully settled.
The TX AG alleged the Esquivel Defendants made fraudulent misrepresentations to non-citizen consumers offering to secure asylum relief and protection in exchange for a fee, despite consumers not qualifying for asylum relief. Additionally, the TX AG alleged that many of consumers were not fully informed that an application specifically for asylum status was being made. The TX AG alleges these actions by the Esquivel Dependents violated several provision of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The TX AG alleged that the JCP Defendants also violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by also making the same misrepresentations as the Esquivel Defendants. In addition, the TX AG alleged the JCP Defendants falsely represented that the ownership of JCP Law Firm & Associates PLLC and JCP Law Office PC was attorney owned when it was not.
The Agreed Final Judgment represents a final action on the matter. The Esquivel and JCP Defendants entered into the Agreed Final Judgment voluntarily. The Esquivel and JCP Defendants neither admitted nor denied the allegations in the Original Petition.
The Agreed Final Judgment ordered that the Esquivel Defendants are permanently enjoined from engaging in any direct or indirect pro bono or profit immigration services, legal or otherwise, that refunds for asylum services to clients made after Apr 13, 2015 be made, and that Paul Esquivel PLLC and Paul Esquivel PC be dissolved as Mr. Esquivel had previously committed. The Esquivel Defendants were ordered to pay a civil penalty of $750,000, $650,000 of which is suspended if the Esquivel Defendants comply with the terms of the Agreed Final Judgment.
The Agreed Final Judgment ordered the JCP Defendants to be permanently enjoined from owning a professional entity unless legally authorized to do so, are enjoined from misrepresenting attorney ownership of JCP Law Firm & Associates PLLC or JCP Law Office PC, and must maintain a legal ethics compliance and training program for attorney and non-attorney employees.