Former immigration attorney pleads guilty in 2014 theft case

Asia's Tech News Daily

Dec. 6—A former immigration attorney accused of stealing from clients has decided to take a plea deal in her case rather than move forward with a retrial.

Emily Cohen, 42, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of theft, a Class 5 felony.

Cohen was originally found guilty on 13 of 21 theft counts following a 2014 trial after prosecutors said she collected more than $41,000 in combined fees from seven immigrant families, then dropped out of contact without producing the visas and work permits she had promised her clients.

But the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned the convictions in 2018, ruling the trial judge in the case erred by allowing prosecutors to introduce complaints against Cohen filed with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, the state agency that collects and rules on ethics complaints filed against attorneys.

The Boulder District Attorney's Office elected to retry the case, and Cohen was set for a 10-day retrial on eleven felony theft counts starting Monday.

But as a result of the plea deal, Cohen will no longer stand trial. Since Cohen already served prison time and was on probation at the time her original verdict was overturned, she was given time served as part of the plea agreement.

But Cohen still has a pending forgery case after officials said she faked documents claiming she had COVID-19 in order to avoid appearing in person for court hearings related to her theft trial.

Cohen was arrested on a failure to appear warrant in Iowa and is now in custody at the Boulder County Jail.

Cohen was initially arrested in 2014 after seven families alleged she agreed to represent them in various immigration cases, collected more than $41,000 in combined fees and then dropped out of contact without producing any of the visas or work permits she promised to help them obtain.

After her arrest, numerous other clients came forward to report similar instances of paying Cohen for services they never received.

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