- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2005

A local lawyer has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit immigration fraud by helping illegal aliens obtain green cards and gain employment in the United States, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland said yesterday.

Irwin Jay Fredman, 73, of Bethesda, admitted that he and others in his District-based firm — the Law Offices of I. Jay Fredman P.C. — prepared and submitted more than 100 fraudulent applications for alien employment certification to the Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from April 2001 to May of this year.

“This kind of fraud undermines the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system,” said Mark Bastan, acting special agent in charge for the Baltimore office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Fredman and District-based lawyer Sergei Danilov, 44, of McLean, were indicted on charges of immigration fraud April 26 along with two legal assistants — Elnur Veliev, 21, of Silver Spring, and Alp Canseven, 30, of the District.

Fredman’s law firm and that of Mr. Danilov, both in Northwest, also were named.

Mr. Bastan said the indictment serves as “an example of our commitment to investigate and bring to justice ruthless attorneys and law firms who bilked millions from businesses and individuals for profit.”

Prosecutors said the legal group exploited a program that permits businesses to sponsor aliens for employment in the United States if they are unable to find qualified U.S. workers to fill the positions.

According to court documents, the group lied about fulfilling requirements that include placing an advertisement in a newspaper and a notice in the workplace that advertised an open position. In some cases, the lawyers solicited aliens for open positions before posting advertisements.

Prosecutors said Fredman and the others filed false applications, saying certain businesses had sponsored aliens and forged signatures of some employers who they said agreed to hire the aliens.

Fredman also told his alien clients that the government probably would not verify the accuracy of information contained in their work-experience letters and encouraged them to lie about their job qualifications in the letters, officials said.

Most of the clients came from Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines and Russia. Officials said Fredman’s firm charged the aliens as much as $25,000 to file a fraudulent application.

Fredman also entered a guilty plea on behalf of his law firm.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Feb. 22.

Veliev, an Azerbaijani national, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit immigration fraud and faces the same penalty when he is sentenced Dec. 15. He also could be deported, officials said.

Mr. Danilov is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 17 and could be deported, if convicted.

Canseven, a Turkish national, is a fugitive.

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