The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Lance Starr says he and other immigration attorneys in Utah had heard complaints about The Alcala Law Firm but didn't have evidence until recently of any possible illegalities in how it handled cases.
But then two former employees of the Glendale firm asked him last year to review their applications to legalize their presence in the United States, which had been prepared by principle attorney James Hector Alcala but rejected by the government. Starr spotted what appeared to be forged letters verifying that one of them had worked for Mexican employers.
The American Fork attorney -- who had worked for the Alcala firm for less than a year beginning in 2006 and now has his own practice -- knew his former colleague had been living in Utah during the time he supposedly worked in Mexico. Starr felt ethically obligated to report his suspicions to the US Attorney's Office.
The evidence likely was included in a federal investigation that resulted in an indictment unsealed Tuesday against Alcala, his law firm, seven current or former employees and a property management company.