Attorney General Phil Weiser reaches settlement with Colorado Springs-based One Connection LLC for practicing law without a license
March 14, 2022 (DENVER)—Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced a settlement was reached with One Connection LLC owner, Maleni Munguia and her employee, Noely Diaz, after an investigation by the Consumer Fraud Unit of the Colorado Department of Law uncovered evidence that Munguia and Diaz had been unlawfully practicing immigration and family law without a license.
Munguia agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $20,000, which will go back to consumers who were harmed by One Connection’s deceptive marketing practices, and will be required to submit tax returns and a report of her business activity for the next two years. Munguia will pay an additional $50,000 if she violates this agreement. Additionally, both Munguia and Diaz agreed to close One Connection, refrain from assisting in immigration or family law matters unless under the supervision of a licensed attorney, and refer individuals who are seeking their help in immigration and family law matters to a licensed attorney.
“One Connection repeatedly violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act by practicing law without a license, putting the safety and livelihood of vulnerable individuals at risk.” Weiser said. “This settlement reflects Colorado’s commitment to protecting consumers and ensuring that businesses are operating ethically and within the rule of law.”
The lawsuit was filed after an investigation by the Consumer Fraud Unit of the Colorado Department of Law uncovered evidence that Maleni Munguia and her company, One Connection LLC, as well as employee Noely Diaz, failed to disclose that the business was not authorized to practice law in Colorado. Under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, individuals must obtain all required licenses to perform services for consumers. In conducting their business, Munguia and Diaz targeted and misled vulnerable communities, including undocumented and non-English speaking individuals.
The lack of low-cost legal services to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking communities has created an opportunity for unlicensed legal practitioners, also known as “notarios,” to step in and promise consumers the help they need to tackle complex immigration, family, and legal matters. The lawsuit issued against One Connection is part of the Department’s greater effort to investigate and stop notario fraud.