DUNWOODY, Ga. - Dunwoody police have issued warrants for a man they say has been posing as a courtroom translator to scam members of the Hispanic Community out of money.
Carlos Sanchez Esquivel, 46, of Marietta, is facing one count of forgery.
Through an interpreter, Yovany Baltazar-Cardenas told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik she met the suspect at a night club, not long after Dunwoody police ticketed her for driving with an expired tag and for not having a valid U.S. driver's license.
"He told me that he could help me," she told Petchenik. "He will try to erase the record."
Baltazar-Cardenas told Petchenik Sanchez Esquivel told her if she appeared in court she'd likely be deported. So, she said she paid him nearly $1,000, and he gave her papers a short while later that made her believe the case was cleared up.
Then, nearly 18 months later, she told Petchenik she was pulled over in Clayton County and the officer told her there was a warrant for her arrest for "failure to appear."
"I felt terrible, horrible," she said about spending a day in jail before getting a chance to tell the judge what happened.
Baltazar-Cardenas' friend, Claudia Escobar, told Petchenik the suspect tried to persuade her to give him money to get a friend out of jail, but she didn't do it.
That's why police tell Petchenik they believe Baltazar-Cardenas likely isn't the only victim.
"We don't know how long he's been doing this or if there are other victims so we're asking anyone who has been scammed by Mr. Esqueval to come forward and let us know," said
Sgt. Mike Carlson with Dunwoody police.