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MCLEAN, VIRGINIA LAWYER SENTENCED TO 46 MONTHS IN PRISON
FOR IMMIGRATION FRAUD
Law Firm Submitted Over 100 False Documents to
the Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Sergei Danilov, age 46, an attorney from McLean, Virginia, was sentenced today to 46 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for conspiring to commit immigration fraud in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson further ordered that Sergei Danilov and the law firm that he owns and manages, Sergei Danilov and Associates, LLC, of Falls Church, Virginia, forfeit $200,000. Judge Nickerson ordered that the company be placed on one year probation, with the condition that it assist in locating assets to satisfy that judgement.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated, “Mr. Danilov used his knowledge as a lawyer to exploit the immigration system and help his clients violate the law. The sentence imposed today demonstrates that this type of abuse of the public's trust will not be tolerated.”
Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General, United States Department of Labor, said, “Today’s sentencing serves as a warning to those who would compromise the integrity of the foreign labor certification program by filing fraudulent applications that improperly enabled aliens to obtain employment-based visas to enter the United States. My office and our partners in law enforcement will continue to vigorously investigate and seek the prosecution of individuals involved in this type of activity.”
According to the agreed statement of facts presented to the court at his guilty plea, Danilov admitted that from March 2002 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. Danilov admitted that the Danilov 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.
While the law firm usually charged $3,000 to $6,000 to help an alien legitimately obtain a “green card,” the law firm charged substantially more to file a fraudulent application. Danilov admitted that the law firm filed fraudulent immigration documents ostensibly on behalf of 12 businesses, most of whom were unaware that the law firm was using their companies to sponsor the firm’s alien clients.
Danilov admitted using John Sliva, a labor economist at the Washington, D.C. Department of Employment Services, to expedite the filing of fraudulent applications, a result which allowed Danilov to demand higher legal fees. In return for moving the applications ahead in the bureaucratic queue or backdating the filing dates on the applications, Danilov would buy Sliva meals and give him gifts, such as tickets to sporting events, clothes, a watch and a wallet containing cash. On February 23, 2006, Sliva pleaded guilty to participating in the visa fraud conspiracy. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
As part of his plea agreement, Danilov agreed to surrender his license to practice law.
One of Danilov’s former law partners, Irwin Jay Fredman, age 73, of Bethesda, Maryland, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2005, to his role in the conspiracy. Fredman also pleaded guilty on behalf of his Washington, D.C. law firm, the Law Offices of I. Jay Fredman, PC, to the same charge. No sentencing date has been scheduled. A paralegal for both law firms, Elnur Veliev, age 21, of Silver Spring, was also charged in the indictment and pleaded guilty to the same count on September 27, 2005. Another paralegal charged in the indictment, Alp Canseven, remains a fugitive.
United States Attorney Rosenstein commended the investigative work performed by the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Joyce K. McDonald, who are prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJune 14, 2006