- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 12, 2005

Two local lawyers have been indicted on 149 counts of immigration fraud stemming from charges that they illegally helped illegal aliens obtain green cards, federal officials said yesterday.

Officials said Irwin Jay Fredman, 72, of Bethesda, and Sergei Danilov, 44, of McLean, filed false labor certification applications with the U.S. Labor Department and false petitions for green cards with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of more than 140 aliens. Two legal assistants, Elnur Veliev, 21, of Silver Spring, and Alp Canseven, 30, of the District, also were indicted in the case.

“No one is above the law, especially those who are entrusted to enforce our laws,” said U.S. Attorney Allen F. Loucks with the District of Maryland. “This indictment ensures that unscrupulous attorneys who exploit the immigration laws … will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Dean Boyd, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said a federal grand jury indicted the lawyers April 26, and that the scheme began in April 2001. The indictment was unsealed yesterday.

The law firms of both lawyers also were named in the indictment. Mr. Fredman’s law firm is at 2120 L St. NW; Mr. Danilov’s firm is at 900 19th St. NW.

All the defendants except for Mr. Canseven were arrested yesterday morning.

Officials said in some cases, the lawyers charged the aliens legal fees as high as $22,000. Officials said the investigation began after clients told officials they paid a law firm large amounts of money to facilitate their entrance into the U.S.

“We served several search warrants this morning and we’re processing evidence retrieved from offices and homes,” Mr. Boyd said yesterday. “This investigation is going to continue.”

Most of the clients came from Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines and Russia, Mr. Boyd said.

Officials said the lawyers falsely listed Maryland businesses, including an employment agency, a pizza restaurant and a construction company, as sponsors of the alien applicants, then deposited the aliens’ payments into companies they owned.

The defendants also filed fraudulent claims stating that many of the aliens were sponsored to become medical and dental assistants, court documents show.

Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

If convicted, Mr. Danilov, a Russian national, and Mr. Veliev, an Azerbaijani national, face deportation.

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