Man allegedly poses as attorney, bilks Dona Ana residents out of thousands of dollars

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Doña Ana County Sheriff's investigators are looking for people who may be victims of a man who sheriff's officials say fraudulently acted as an attorney and took retainers for services he never provided.

According to court documents, Rafael Herrera, 38, worked for a local law firm from October 2011 to September 2012 and misrepresented himself as an attorney to at least one woman who claims Herrera charged her a $2,500 retainer for an immigration case.

Sheriff's officials say Herrera worked for the Rascon Law Firm, whose principal attorney, Anthony Ray Rascon, was doing business in Carlsbad when Herrera was in charge of the Las Cruces office.

When Rascon returned to Las Cruces, discrepancies in the bookkeeping led him to believe Herrera had misappropriated funds and collected from people whose cases weren't legally being represented by the firm, according to sheriff's officials.

Herrera faces a third-degree felony charge of fraud. Investigators would like to speak to anyone who might have been a victim of Herrera. Calls are being directed to the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office at (575) 525-8814.

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