- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Prosecutors say a New York City lawyer cheated at least 30 African, Caribbean and South and Central American immigrants out of thousands of dollars by telling them they qualified for green cards when they didn’t.

Owolabi Salis pleaded not guilty Thursday to grand larceny and other charges. His attorney hasn’t immediately returned a phone message after court. Emails to Salis brought no immediate response. His office phone wasn’t accepting messages.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. says Salis defrauded immigrant clients more out of than $4,500 apiece. Prosecutors say Salis misused immigration petitions reserved for certain immigrants, including domestic violence victims and military translators.

Prosecutors say that besides misleading clients about their prospects for legal permanent residence, Salis didn’t tell them that work permits he obtained for them were temporary.

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