A lawyer who posed as a rabbi and ran an immigration fraud mill was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday.
For 13 years, The David Firm, led by “Rabbi Avraham David,” whose real name is Earl Seth David, accepted millions of dollars in fees from undocumented immigrants in return for aid in obtaining legal immigration status. Fees cost as high as $30,000 per client.
Upon payment, the firm used phony documents to obtain thousands of Department of Labor certificates that enabled undocumented immigrants to petition for legal status.
David, 49, was suspended from the practice in 2004 and fled to Canada in 2006. He was arrested in Toronto in 201 1and extradited to New York to stand trial. In April 2012, David pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Preet Bharara, Manhattan U.S. Attorney, said in a statement, “Earl David abused his attorney’s license to exploit his alien clients who were seeking the American dream and to perpetrate a fraud on the federal government.”
Twenty-five others have been charged with involvement in David’s scheme. Of those, 24 have been convicted and 12 have been sentenced. According to Bharara’s office, two defendants, Ali Gomaa and Sariel Sabale, remain fugitives.
David also received two years of supervised release and was ordered to repay $2.5 million.
This story "Fake Rabbi Gets 5 Years in Immigration Scam" was written by Seth Berkman.