A Baldwin Park woman already accused of 41 felony charges in connection with an alleged immigration services scam pleaded not guilty to 34 additional charges Wednesday as prosecutors have found more alleged victims, authorities said.
Eblin Balver, 51, now faces a total of 75 felony charges, including 60 counts of grand theft, four counts of burglary and three counts of grand theft from an elder or dependent adult, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
“Additional victims were identified with the help of the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection hotline after the case was filed in August,” according to the statement.
Balver is accused of bilking at least $267,000 from at least 38 victims between 2013 and 2018, prosecutors said. Bail has been set at $1 million.
Balver approached the victims and offered legal services, prosecutors said.
“She purportedly claimed that she worked in the legal system and could provide assistance with immigration petitions, visas and home purchases,” according to the statement.
Balver collected payments from the victims, but never provided the services she promised, officials allege. In some cases, she’s accused of threatening victims to prevent them from reporting the crimes.
Balver could face up to 63 years in state prison if convicted as charged, officials said. She’s scheduled to return to Los Angeles County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing on May 23.
Investigators were still trying to track down any additional victims of the alleged scam. Anyone with information is urged to to contact the District Attorney’s Office at 213-257-2450.