DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that his office has reached a settlement with Simply Done Immigration, a Colorado Springs-based business, and its owner, Joseph P. Corrigan (DOB: 12/21/1965), which bars them from offering immigration-help services in Colorado and requires them to pay $20,000 in consumer restitution.
According to the settlement, filed in El Paso County District Court, Simply Done Immigration sold consumers immigration documents they could have otherwise obtained for free from the U.S. Center for Immigration Services, a federal agency. The company also falsely claimed that consumers would receive assistance from “document specialists” where in fact the sales staff included neither attorneys nor specialists in immigration law. Simply Done Immigration charged its customers fees ranging from $300 to $1,000 to obtain immigration documents that were available at no cost through www.uscis.gov. The representations made by Simply Done over the phone coupled with the fees that often mirrored the filings fees associated with the documents themselves further misled consumers into believing Simply Done was associated with the federal government.
Defendant Corrigan would select certain ad words such as “green card” and “immigration help” to deliberately increase Simply Done Immigration’s presence on search engines and so that consumers would encounter the company’s advertisements ahead of those for the U.S. Center for Immigration Services. This often resulted in consumers contacting Simply Done when searching for the government Web site.
Simply Done Immigration’s business model is nearly identical to that of the Colorado Springs-based Immigration Center, which was operated by Charles Doucette and which the Office of the Attorney General sued in August 2009. That law enforcement action resulted in a $2.5 million default judgment against Immigration Center and an $85,000 settlement with Doucette and co-defendant Deborah Stillson.
Simply Done Immigration was a competitor of Immigration Center and operated in approximately the same timeframe. The Attorney General’s Office entered into an out-of-court settlement with two other individuals involved in Corrigan’s Simply Done Immigration and received more than $18,000 in consumer restitution.