For release on October 18, 2013
Deputy District Attorney
A 49-year-old San Jose woman who passed herself off as a legal and financial expert only to steal more than $100,000 from a handful of victims was sentenced this week to three years of incarceration.
Olga Elviara Pardo, who also goes by the name Angela Farfan, had promised to help one family avoid home foreclosure; another to file a major lawsuit, another to get a loan modification; and, for one young person, to finance an entire college education. Pardo did none of these things. Pardo is not a lawyer. She is a felon, having been convicted and sent to prison for a similar set of scams a decade ago.
Pardo will serve two years of the term in the county jail and will be placed for one year on a supervised release program. As part of her sentence, she will be required to pay restitution to her victims.
“Many of us feel that financial matters are complicated, and we wish for somebody to come along and help us with our financial responsibilities,’’ prosecutor Georg Behrens said. “We should always make sure that any person to whom we entrust our hard-earned money is honest, qualified and professional.’’
Pretending she was a qualified professional and, in some cases, an actual lawyer, Pardo defrauded her latest victims from 2008 to 2011. In one case, she took more than $100,000 in “taxes” and other “fees” from a man, saying she would help prevail in a legal dispute. In another case, she charged a mother and her son $12,000 to rescue a home they were losing to foreclosure. In another case, she took $12,000 in “application fees” from a young student who she said had won a scholarship program that would finance her entire education. She called the program “Abrozos (hugs) and Books.”
Pardo pleaded no contest to the charge of Grand Theft on July 1, 2013. She also admitted an allegation saying that she had previously been convicted in 2004 of Grand Theft, Insufficient Funds Checks, and Unlawful Use of Personal Identifying Information, and that she had served a prison sentence.###