BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – She promised a path to citizenship, but now she’s being called a scammer. A Boulder attorney is facing numerous theft charges for allegedly taking advantage of immigrants.
Investigators believe it started back in 2010 and since then Boulder immigration attorney Emily Elizabeth Cohen, 34, is alleged to have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from more than two dozen families. The worst part is they believe there are likely more victims.
Mike Gray and his wife paid thousands of dollars to have Cohen represent them, and for that price they say they got nothing.
“We got a lot of empty promises is what we got from Emily,” Gray said.
They’re not alone. Cohen was arrested in March and was initially charged with seven counts of theft involving seven different families. Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett says since her arrest that number has been growing.
“I believe around 50 alleged victims … we’ve been hearing from more and more folks,” Garnett said.
According to her arrest warrant, Cohen collected thousands of dollars from immigrant families by telling them she could help secure visas and work permits for a fee. Some families paid her upwards of $10,000.
Cohen would allegedly set up a payment plan where the families could drop cash off with a receptionist at one of her two offices in Boulder. Gray says, like other families, after they made their payments Cohen stopped responding.
“We would contact her office, and the girls at her office were polite, very professional — ‘she’ll get back to you, she’s in court, she’s very busy.’ But she would never return a phone call or an email. To get in touch with her was impossible,” Gray said.
Investigators say some of the families gave their life savings to Cohen.
Despite losing thousands themselves, the Grays say their heart goes out to those families who lost everything.
“It was a burden for us, I can imagine what it was for them,” Gray said.
CBS4 reached out to Cohen’s attorney but did not receive a call back. She is set to be in court on her charges at the end of the month. In the meantime the Colorado Supreme Court has suspended her attorney’s license.