A former immigration services director of Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City has been sentenced to 10 years probation after she embezzled thousands of dollars that were intended to be used for immigration fees.
Margarita I. Solis, of Oklahoma City, stole money from immigration clients in 2015 and 2016. She was charged with embezzlement in April 2017. Solis worked as an attorney and assisted Catholic Charities’ clients with immigration issues, including acquiring green cards and U.S. citizenship.
According to the charges, Solis would convert money orders given to her for immigration fees to be payable to herself, and then cash them. Prosecutors claim she stole $2,830 in 2015 and 2016, and later was accused of converting about $24,000 of filing fees into money orders for her personal use.
She resigned as an attorney in November 2017 before pleading guilty to three felony counts of embezzlement last week. As part of the plea agreement, she received probation.
If she is able to complete probation, she will not be labeled as a felon.
She paid $2,500 in restitution to Catholic Charities.
Patrick Raglow, executive director of Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City, said in a statement published in The Oklahoman that his staff did not hold any ill will against Solis, and that they sought to deal with the matter as “compassionately” as possible.
“Many of our clients come from brokenness and we deal with human brokenness all the time,” said Raglow. “And occasionally, some of our staff have brokenness also.”