An attorney who pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of immigration fraud was disbarred yesterday by the Appellate Division, First Department. Maritza Diaz “allegedly filed with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services thousands of fraudulent applications for labor certifications and petitions for adjustment of legal status based on phony claims that employers had ‘sponsored’ the illegal aliens for employment in the United States,” according to the panel. After she pleaded guilty, she was sentenced to three years of probation.
The panel held that Diaz’s federal crime was equivalent to the New York felony of offering a false statement for filing in the first degree, requiring automatic disbarment. Diaz was part of an alleged conspiracy involving multiple attorneys and a corrupt U.S. Department of Labor employee (NYLJ, Oct. 13, 2011). Justices Angela Mazzarelli (See Profile), David Saxe (See Profile), Karla Moskowitz (See Profile), Helen Freedman (See Profile) and Sallie Manzanet-Daniels (See Profile) sat on the panel in Matter of Diaz, M-5859, which appears on page 2 of the print edition of today’s Law Journal.