- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A 21-year-old Silver Spring legal assistant has pleaded guilty to charges that he participated in a scam providing illegal aliens with fraudulently obtained green cards.

Elnor Veliev was indicted, along with two D.C. lawyers, their law firms and another legal assistant, on April 26 for filing 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 between April 2001 and May 2005.

Veliev, an Azerbaijani national and not a U.S. citizen, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced Dec. 15. He also could be deported, officials said.

“America’s immigration and labor laws are undermined by schemes to secure green cards based on false representations about employment,” U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said.

Veliev, fellow legal assistant Alp Canseven, 30, of the District, and lawyers Irwin Jay Fredman, 72, of Bethesda, and Sergei Danilov, 44, of McLean, all were included in the 149-count indictment.

The law firms of both lawyers also were named in the indictment: I. Jay Fredman P.C. and Sergei Danilov and Associates LLC, both in Northwest.

Prosecutors said the group took advantage of a program that allows an employer to sponsor an alien for employment if that employer is not able to find qualified U.S. workers to fill the position.

Veliev admitted that those involved in the scheme often falsified the alien’s work experience and forged the names of employers who had not agreed to sponsor the aliens, prosecutors said.

In addition, the suspects manipulated recruiting requirements to ensure that no U.S. workers would be hired for the jobs.

The aliens — most of whom came from Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines and Russia — paid the law firms as much as $25,000 to obtain the green cards, prosecutors said.

Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said agents will attempt to locate the aliens who either knowingly or unknowingly participated in the scheme.

“Some of these people may have valid applications because all of the cases may not have been fraudulent,” she said. “There will be a complete examination with the investigation into this case.”

A trial date for the two lawyers and their law firms is scheduled for Jan. 17. Mr. Danilov, a Russian national, also could be deported if convicted.

Officials said Mr. Canseven, a Turkish national, is a fugitive.

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