Marina Sokolovskaya did not appear in court: the real story of a pseudo-lawyer’s fraudulent scheme

Today, many Russian-speaking citizens come to the United States to seek political asylum. Often they have with them a minimum of means of subsistence, but this does not prevent dishonest false lawyers from deceiving immigrants and, under the guise of help, extorting the latter from them.

Bring your money: “Horns and hooves” for immigrants

Sergei arrived in America at the beginning of the year. He immediately went to court to obtain permission to reside in the country as a political refugee. After the first meeting, he realized that he would not be able to properly formalize all the legal aspects of this issue on his own. Sergei turned to the famous video blogger Marina Sokolovskaya, who deals with migration issues. During the phone call, Marina introduced herself as a lawyer and said that she would handle this case. Without even listening to Sergei’s story to the end, she began to convince him that it would be easy to resolve the issue of obtaining political refugee status for him.

It is worth noting that even experienced lawyers who have been dealing with immigration issues for many years cannot give a 100% guarantee of a positive court decision. The US legal system does not imply general rules regarding the issue of obtaining political asylum, and each case is considered individually. The judge’s decision may be influenced by various nuances, as well as details of the plaintiff’s biography.

When Marina reassured Sergei, she immediately announced the amount that he would need to transfer for the lawyer’s services - $9,500 - and then sent him an agreement to sign. In this agreement, Sokolovskaya was not listed either as a party to the agreement or as a human rights activist. However, Sergei was constantly rushed to pay for services and sign the contract. He transferred part of the amount - $3,000 - after which the situation changed dramatically.

“I want Larisa Ivanovna” or how to reach your lawyer

Marina stopped answering calls and did not listen to audio messages. Sergei was worried - after all, there was not much time left before the trial, and, in fact, the documents had not yet been drawn up properly. If he managed to call the company, he heard only soothing phrases. Immediately before the meeting, Sokolovskaya nevertheless called and reported that another specialist would represent his interests. During the trial, a representative of the company asked the court to postpone the case due to the inconsistency of the evidence base. The court postponed the hearing. Then the situation worsened even more. Various people called Sergei, introduced themselves as employees of the company - lawyers who would handle his case, and then disappeared again. In addition, compiling a case study (a story about the reasons for political flight from the country) left many questions. Sergei formed a story and sent it to Marina, after which he received it back with numerous blots that needed to be corrected immediately. Sokolovskaya insisted on setting specific dates, which, according to her, needed to be invented to increase the court’s confidence.

It is worth noting that the story (case) is one of the main documents of evidence sent to the court for obtaining political asylum. All facts, dates, nuances of the biography in it must be written by the plaintiff himself and fully correspond to reality. If during the consideration of the case it turns out that the data was falsified, then the immigrant will not only not receive refugee status, but may also be deported or subject to serious penalties.

“Was there a boy?” – no refunds are provided for services not provided

Sergei’s “cooperation” with the law firm where Marina Sokolovskaya works lasted more than 7 months. During the conversation, he managed to find out that Marina is not a lawyer. During lengthy negotiations, Sergey transferred another $1,000 to the company’s account, and the result was $4,000. After some time, the company’s representatives stopped communicating altogether. If Sergei managed to contact Marina, she answered him rudely that his case was initially a losing one and they were wasting their time on him. After this conversation, Sergei received an SMS in which it was written that the company was terminating the contract with him, but the story did not end there. Sergei himself was not against terminating the agreement with the law firm, since he did not receive any results from this cooperation. He contacted representatives of the company and said that he agreed to the termination and asked for his money to be returned, to which he received a very lengthy explanation that this issue would be resolved at a general meeting within a week. A few days later, a company representative called him and confirmed the termination of the contract on the basis that “the plaintiff does not believe in their strength.” But he did not give a clear answer on the issue of returning the cost of services not provided.

Rescue of drowning people is the work of the drowning people themselves

To date, the situation has not been resolved. Not a single company representative showed up at the last court hearing, but Sergei managed to get permission to postpone the trial for 90 days. He was forced to turn to more competent specialists on the issue of immigration. The question of a refund remains open.

In one of the videos, Marina Sokolovskaya convinces viewers not to turn to unverified specialists and to trust only reliable lawyers. But is a competent specialist someone who:

• presents himself as a human rights defender, but is not one;

• advises the plaintiff to falsify information in the history in order to mislead the judge;

• demands payment of funds, after which he stops communicating?

And also, by hook or by crook, he tries to restore his good name, without even trying to help his client.

All information written in this article is confirmed by a video of a deceived client.

Marina Sokolovskaya