Consumer Protection Lawsuit Seeks Restitution and Relief for Victims
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today that his Bureau of Consumer Protection filed a lawsuit against Syed Qumrazzaman a/k/a Syed Zaman for scamming Pennsylvanians by falsely identifying himself as an attorney and collecting at least $20,000 for immigration assistance services that he was not licensed to provide – and never did.
The lawsuit states that the defendant solicited legal clients by word of mouth at religious services, even though he was not a licensed attorney. Zaman used his stature in the community to gain confidence and defraud people looking for legal aid. During meetings that were conducted out of his residential apartment, Mr. Zaman verbally advised clients of the forms he would prepare and submit on their behalf and how much those services would cost. On at least one occasion, Zaman met with clients in front of the Courthouse at 9th and Market Streets in Philadelphia. When his clients arrived, however, Mr. Zaman informed them their appointments had been “canceled”, and would be re-scheduled.
“This defendant took advantage of people who were seeking legal aid to properly become American citizens and provide better lives for themselves and their families,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “He abused the trust people place in their attorneys, scammed Pennsylvanians out of their money and abused the privilege of close relationships with our immigrant community. Now, my Office is holding him accountable and seeking restitution for his victims.”
Zaman accepted cash payments and directed consumers to deposit large sums of money into his personal bank account. The defendant obtained at least $20,000.00 through his scam. Mr. Zaman regularly called his clients to provide false updates on their “cases”, requesting additional payments to move the cases along.
The lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection requests injunctive relief, restitution, civil penalties and other equitable relief as authorized by law. The suit was filed in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court by Deputy Attorney General Melissa L. Kaplan.
Defendant Syed Qumruzaman was criminally prosecuted by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for this unlawful conduct. As a result, Defendant Qumruzaman entered a guilty plea with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for Theft by Deception and the Unauthorized Practice of law.
# # #