FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC at 410-209-4885
December 1, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BETHESDA LAWYER AND WASHINGTON, D.C. LAW FIRM
PLEAD GUILTY TO IMMIGRATION FRAUD
Law Firm Submitted Over 100 False Documents to
the Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
BALTIMORE, Maryland - United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announces that today attorney Irwin Jay Fredman, age 73, of Bethesda, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit immigration fraud in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia during a four-year period. Fredman also entered a guilty plea to the same charge on behalf of the law firm he owns and manages, the Law Offices of I. Jay Fredman, P.C., Washington, D.C.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “Attorneys and law firms that facilitate evasion of our immigration laws, with the concomitant threat that such conduct poses for national security, will face federal criminal prosecution.”
Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General, United States Department of Labor, stated, “The integrity of the Foreign Labor Certification Program is strengthened today by this guilty plea and the deterrent effect it will certainly have on others who scheme to defraud this program. My office is committed to working closely with other law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent fraud by those who violate the law for personal gain.”
“ This kind of fraud undermines the integrity of our nation's legal immigration system and those who are entrusted to enforce our laws,” said Mark Bastan, ICE Acting Special Agent In Charge for the Baltimore Office. “The guilty plea today is 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. We are aggressively targeting these criminals and others responsible for the production of fraudulent documents and exploitation of the immigration system.”
According to the agreed statement of facts presented to the court, Fredman admitted that from April 2001 until May 2005 he and others at the law firm submitted fraudulent immigration documents to assist aliens in getting “green cards” through an employment-based visa program. The program permits an employer to sponsor an alien for employment in the United States if the employer has been unable to find qualified U.S. workers to fill the position. Fredman admitted that the Fredman law firm prepared and submitted to the Department of Labor and/or United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) more than 100 Applications for Alien Employment Certification and/or Immigrant Petitions for Alien Workers that contained material misrepresentations. These misrepresentations included false assertions that certain sponsoring employers had authorized the law firm to file applications on behalf of certain aliens; false statements about purported offers of employment; false statements about the work experience of many of the alien applicants; and/or forged signatures of some of the sponsoring employers who purportedly agreed to hire the aliens.
Fredman admitted that at his direction law firm employees would not ask alien clients to describe their actual work experience, but rather, would encourage them to create work experience letters for a particular job opening for which they were not qualified. Fredman also instructed the employees to tell the alien clients that it was unlikely that the government would ever verify the accuracy of the information contained in the fraudulent work experience letters. While the law firm usually charged $3,000 to $6,000 to help an alien legitimately obtain a “green card,” the law firm charged as much as $25,000 to file a fraudulent application. Fredman admitted that the law firm filed fraudulent immigration documents on behalf of 13 businesses, most of whom were unaware that the law firm was using their companies to sponsor the firm’s alien clients.
As part of his plea agreement, Fredman agreed to two sentencing enhancements under the federal sentencing guidelines; one for having abused the public’s trust as a licensed attorney and, second, for having served as a manager and organizer of others involved in the conspiracy. Fredman also agreed to forfeit $200,000 to the government, to cooperate with law enforcement authorities and to surrender his license to practice law. He faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for February 22, 2006.
One of the law firm’s legal assistants, Elnur Veliev, age 21, of Silver Spring, was also charged in the indictment and pleaded guilty to the same count on September 27, 2005. A former attorney with the Fredman law firm, Sergei Danilov, age 44, of McLean, Virginia, was also charged in the indictment and his trial is scheduled for January 17, 2006. Another paralegal, Alp Canseven, remains a fugitive.
United States Attorney Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed by the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Joyce K. McDonald, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJanuary 30, 2006