Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, a Plano-based nonprofit, serves Muslim women and their families who are survivors of domestic and family violence, supports terminally ill patients and provides educational programming for youth and adults.
According to information presented in court, Nnenna Mary Jones, a Melissa resident and an immigrant from Nigeria herself, represented clients in court in immigration matters with the Department of Homeland Security as part of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation’s in-house legal assistance program for those undergoing the immigration process. According to her website, Jones is a licensed attorney in Nigeria, where she is also a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and a partner and head of immigration practice at Castlegate Legal Consult in Nigeria. Jones was accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice to practice immigration law in the United States for Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation.
TMWF offers this legal assistance free of charge by seeking waivers of immigration fees through the court system or paying the fees through foundation funds.
However, according to the Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jones instructed clients to pay certain fees for their immigration proceedings with a check that had a blank “pay to” line. Jones would then photocopy the checks to feign that they were going to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and then write her own name on the “pay to” line, cashing the checks for herself.
During this time, the Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney’s Office stated that Jones stole approximately $17,000 from at least nine of the TMWF clients. Jones pled guilty on April 3, following an indictment by a federal grand jury in October of 2022.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J. Taylor and sentenced on Dec. 20.
Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation was previously on the DOJ R&A Program roster of Recognized Organizations and Accredited Representatives. According to documents as of 2019, TMWF was registered under this roster from Sept. 1, 2017–Sept. 1, 2019. Under this roster, Nnenna Jones was the only registered representative for TMWF, with her accreditation set to expire in 2020. Recently updated documents do not list TMWF as a recognized organization. It is unclear at this time whether this is due to Jones’ arrest.
Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation has not yet responded to a request for comment.