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March 2004

Dillon Announces Guilty Plea By Woman
Who Posed As Attorney To Defraud Immigrants

Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon announced today that a Brooklyn woman has pled guilty, and been ordered to pay more than $300, 000 in restitution, for a scheme in which she posed as an attorney in order to defraud immigrants seeking American citizenship.

Liana Shuster, 32, pled guilty yesterday in Nassau County Court to the top counts against her: Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a Class E Felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

According to Dillon, "The defendant admitted that, although she is not admitted or authorized to practice law, between April 1998 and July 2002 she falsely represented herself as an attorney to individuals who went to her for assistance in obtaining a 'green card' or permanent resident status in the United States; and that she altered a passport with a phony stamp purportedly from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "

Restitution was ordered in the amount of $300,500, to be paid through asset forfeiture. In pleading guilty, the defendant signed an asset forfeiture stipulation. Shuster will be sentenced on February 4, 2004, by Nassau County Court Judge Alan Honorof. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney William Wallace.