"Head of New York law firm charged with immigration fraud"

Hi Gang:
An ICE news release serves as the predication for my commentary today.  This news release was posted by ICE on October 13, 2011 and addresses a fraud ring headed up by an attorney by the name of Earl Seth David that, according to the press release, allegedly provided a staggering number of aliens with lawful status to which they were not entitled- the precise number was not noted but was described as being possibly in excess of 25,000!
Here is an excerpt from that news release.  You will notice that reference is made to the DOL.  The DOL is the Department Of Labor.  As I have noted in many previous commentaries, it was, in fact the Department of Labor that, before the Second World War, was responsible for the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws.  The point was to protect the American workforce from the deleterious impact the influx of foreign workers would have.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if our “leaders” of today conducted themselves the way that the leaders of the “Greatest Generation” did back then!
                                                                                                                       *****************************

 “As a result of the fraud, DOL issued thousands of certifications, and immigration authorities granted legal status to thousands of the David Firm’s clients when such adjustments were unwarranted and otherwise would not have been made. To date, the government has identified at least 25,000 immigration applications submitted by the David Firm – the vast majority of which have been determined to contain false, fraudulent, and fictitious information.”

                                                                                                                       *****************************
While is certainly important that the investigation was conducted and that, if found guilty, those responsible for perpetrating this fraud will be made suffer the consequences of their alleged crimes.  However, as the saying goes, “It takes two to Tango!”
Here it took thousands to Tango!  You will notice a few things in reading the news release.  First of all, according to the news release, 27 defendants have been identified and indicted to date with 12 of those having been indicted a couple of days ago. These were the employees of the law firm that was responsible for filing those thousands of applications and persuading the others who furnished the employment letters and other documents that were essential to the application process by which the estimated 25,000 aliens were able to successfully game the system.  I presume that among those who were indicted also furnished false letters and other supporting documents and that as the investigation continues and as some of those indicted decide to cooperate that more will be identified and indicted.  The issue not addressed is what is being done with the thousands of aliens who allegedly gained visas and lawful status as a result of this massive fraud.  Those aliens are obvious coconspirators yet nothing has been said about efforts being made to locate these individuals and prosecute them and/or seek their removal (deportation) from the United States.  
If these aliens are not arrested and are not made to pay a price for their criminal conduct, more aliens will be encouraged to seek the services of organizations who promise to help them to game the system, secure in the knowledge that while those who make the arrangements may face adverse consequences for their actions that the aliens who are, in essence smuggled into the United States via the supposedly “legal” system, will have nothing to fear.
Furthermore, I would love to know why this outfit was permitted to operate for as long as it did.
Consider these two non-sequential paragraphs from the news release: 
                                                                                                                       *****************************
David allegedly continued to operate the scheme from behind-the scenes even after he was suspended from practicing law in New York in March 2004. David fled to Canada in 2006 after learning that his firm was under federal criminal investigation. Nevertheless, illicit profits from the scheme continued to be funneled to him in Canada, including through a bank account in the name of a biblical treatise he had authored titled “Code of the Heart.” The David Firm ceased operations in early 2009 when federal search warrants were executed at several locations associated with the firm.

According to court documents, from 1996 until early 2009, Earl Seth David operated a Manhattan-based immigration law firm (the “David Firm”) that took in millions of dollars through a long-running scheme to charge exorbitant fees to the firm’s alien-clients. In return, the firm procured legal immigration status for the clients based upon phony claims that U.S. employers had “sponsored” the aliens for employment.

                                                                                                                       *****************************

Back on May 20, 1997 I participated in my first Congressional hearing at the behest of the then Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Henry Hyde and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, Lamar Smith on the topic:
“VISA FRAUD AND IMMIGRATION BENEFITS APPLICATION FRAUD”

Here is a link to a transcript of that hearing:
This hearing was called as a direct response to the terrorist attacks of 1993 at the CIA and the World Trade Center in which all of those involved in carrying out those attacks were identified as aliens who had gamed the visa process and/or immigration benefits program.
On May 18, 2004 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims as a result of an invitation that was provided to me by the then Ranking Member of that subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee.
The topic of that hearing was:
“PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES”

Here is the link to a transcript of that hearing in its entirety:

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju93716.000/hju93716_0f.htm

Here is an excerpt from my prepared testimony for that hearing:

                                                                                                                       *****************************

   I would also suggest that the efforts to facilitate
cultivating informants in alien-smuggling cases also be used in
conjunction with informants who similarly assist in providing
information that leads to the elimination or disruption of large-scale
fraud rings. Traditionally, these rings either furnish many fraudulent
documents to circumvent components of the Immigration and Nationality
Act or devise schemes which, on a large scale, provides aliens with a
means of obtaining immigration benefits—such as residency and
citizenship—to which they are not entitled through such schemes as
marriage fraud and labor certification fraud. I make these
recommendations in view of the fact that, according to recent GAO
reports, fraud is highly prevalent in the immigration benefits program.

 Page 48       PREV PAGE       TOP OF DOC

    Finally, I want to reiterate the point that I welcome efforts that
enhance the enforcement of the immigration statutes that would help in
securing our Nation’s borders and, consequently, our Nation’s security. I
believe that the additional discretionary authority should be given to
both components of the enforcement program, ICE and CBP, to facilitate
the vital missions of these two agencies.

                                                                                                                       *****************************

While so much attention has been paid to our nation’s land borders, especially our southern border, it is estimated that there are at least 5 million illegal aliens who are present in our country who did not run our nation’s borders but entered our country through a port of entry via the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission.

The terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 and the aliens who attacked our nation in 1993 all engaged in visa fraud and/or immigration benefit fraud.
Following that hearing in 2004 a fraud task force was created as a result of the issues I raised at that hearing.  However, as is all too often the case where our government in general and immigration in particular is concerned, there is an extreme lack of resources to provide the sort of integrity to the process by which, in a manner of speaking, our government provides millions of aliens, each year, with the keys to America’s front door!
On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations.
The topic for that hearing was:

“VISA OVERSTAYS:  CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”


Here is a link to the transcript of that hearing in its entirety:

On May 31, 2010 CNN aired a report in which I briefly appeared.  The topic for this report was, “Tracking Down Visa Violators.”
Here is a link to that video:

You will likely be surprised and angered to know that there are fewer than 300 enforcement personnel at ICE who are assigned to locating and apprehending millions of visa violators, especially when you realize how many terrorists were able to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States by committing visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud.
To put things in perspective, the NYPD has about 35, 000 police officers to protect the City of New York and the TSA has an estimated 60,000 employees!
If some elderly person with poor eyesight opens the wrong door at an airport and an alarm sounds, that terminal is likely to go into “Lock down!”
Airliners may be ordered back to their gates and luggage and passengers re-screened, at great expense to the airlines and to the great inconvenience to passengers who may, as a result miss connecting flights and may miss business meetings or not be able to attend weddings or other family events.  All in the name of national security.
Yet our nation continues to expand the number of countries whose citizens are able to enter the United States under the aegis of the insane Visa Waiver Program (we are up to 36 such countries today) and visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud permeate the system by which visas are issues, aliens are accorded lawful immigrant status and, in fact, are provided with the highest honor and privilege this or any nation can bestow upon a foreign national (alien)- that privilege being citizenship!
When you consider just how critically important the visa process and the system by which we accord immigration benefits to aliens including lawful immigrant status and United States citizenship, it is utterly unfathomable that the current administration as well as previous administrations of both parties have minimized the importance of these programs that have an integral link to national security!
It is beyond belief that the President and members of both parties, including GOP candidates for the Presidency have called for a massive program to provide illegal aliens with a “Pathway to United States Citizenship!”
In the days, weeks and months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 a veritable parade of our “leaders” headed for the cameras and microphones of the news media to know why no one had “Connected the dots!”
The dots have been connected!  Perhaps they need crayons!
Today’s commentary addresses a major fraud ring, but I can most assuredly tell you that there are many, many more such fraud rings “out there” and a lack of resources and commitment from our leaders make it unlikely that they will ever be discovered or their clients arrested!
I fear that as we saw in 1993 and again in 2001, at some point in the future, terrorists will have once again gamed this “system” that has even less integrity than the southern border of this country and do harm to our nation and our citizens.
It is time for our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the basis of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact.  Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges!
A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

I

our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.  
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.  We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!


The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.  I implore you to get involved!
I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world.  However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 

Please check out my website:

       
On Friday evenings from 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I  host my show, “The Michael Cutler Hour” on the USA Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio.
I hope you will be listening!  (Please tell your friends and neighbors!)
Here is a link to the program:


The Michael Cutler Hour 
Friday7pm Eastern


 
Copyright ©2011 USA Talk Radio Network. All Rights Reserved.
 Archived shows here:
  USA Talk Radio

The call-in number for a live show is 310-982-4145

Call in via Skype for free here
(while show is Live)


October 13, 2011
New York, NY

Head of New York law firm charged with immigration fraud


NEW YORK — The proprietor of a law firm and 11 other individuals were charged Tuesday with operating a massive immigration fraud mill through a Manhattan-based law practice. The defendants and coconspirators allegedly applied for legal status for tens of thousands of illegal aliens based on phony claims that U.S. employers had “sponsored” those aliens for employment in the United States. A total of 27 individuals have been charged as part of the investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG).

Those charged include: Earl Seth David, also known as “Rabbi Avraham David,” who was the principal of the law offices and the scheme’s ringleader, and who was arrested Tuesday in Canada after fleeing the United States; employees of David’s law offices who created fake documents to support the fraudulent immigration applications; numerous phony “sponsors” – individuals who, in exchange for payments from David and his employees, agreed to falsely represent that they were sponsoring aliens for employment; corrupt accountants who created fake tax returns for fictitious sponsor companies; and a corrupt Department of Labor employee who assisted in the scheme.

“This law firm and its associates allegedly exploited the immigration system and carried out one of the largest immigration fraud schemes to have ever been committed in our country,” said James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New York. “These arrests reflect HSI’s commitment to investigating document and benefit fraud and those who try to circumvent our nation’s immigration laws.”

“As alleged, Earl David and his many cohorts corrupted the immigration process through a carefully orchestrated scheme that was stunning in its scope and audacity,” said Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. “They allegedly reaped millions of dollars for filing tens of thousands of fraudulent applications for lawful immigration  status on behalf of their alien clients. We will not tolerate this flagrant abuse of a program that is designed to assist U.S. employers in their efforts to obtain legal status for truly qualified employees.”

“Today’s indictment charges 12 individuals in an immigration fraud scheme in which thousands of fraudulent petitions, applications, and supporting documentation were allegedly filed with the U.S.

Departments of Labor and Homeland Security,” said Robert Panella, special agent in charge of the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General in New York. “The Office of Inspector General will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners at the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force to investigate those who would defraud Department of Labor programs.”

According to court documents, from 1996 until early 2009, Earl Seth David operated a Manhattan-based immigration law firm (the “David Firm”) that took in millions of dollars through a long-running scheme to charge exorbitant fees to the firm’s alien-clients. In return, the firm procured legal immigration status for the clients based upon phony claims that U.S. employers had “sponsored” the aliens for employment.

United States law permits an alien to petition for legal status if the alien has obtained certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that a U.S. employer wishes to employ, or “sponsor,” the alien. An alien who obtains that DOL certification can then use it to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain legal status in the United States. As alleged in the indictment, in return for fees of up to $30,000 per alien-client, the David Firm applied for and obtained thousands of DOL certifications based upon phony employment sponsorships and fabricated documents, including fake pay stubs, fake tax returns, and fake “experience letters,” purporting to show that the sponsorships were real and that the aliens possessed special employment skill sets justifying labor-based certification by DOL. In reality, the sponsors had no intention of hiring the aliens, and the sponsor companies often did not exist other than as shell companies for use in the fraudulent scheme. As a result of the fraud, DOL issued thousands of certifications, and immigration authorities granted legal status to thousands of the David Firm’s clients when such adjustments were unwarranted and otherwise would not have been made. To date, the government has identified at least 25,000 immigration applications submitted by the David Firm – the vast majority of which have been determined to contain false, fraudulent, and fictitious information.

In furtherance of the alleged scheme, David and his employees recruited many people to participate, including dozens of individuals who, in exchange for payment, agreed to falsely represent to DOL that they were sponsoring aliens for employment; corrupt accountants who created fake tax returns for the fictitious sponsor companies; and a corrupt DOL employee who helped ensure that DOL certifications were granted based upon the fraudulent applications.

David allegedly continued to operate the scheme from behind-the scenes even after he was suspended from practicing law in New York in March 2004. David fled to Canada in 2006 after learning that his firm was under federal criminal investigation. Nevertheless, illicit profits from the scheme continued to be funneled to him in Canada, including through a bank account in the name of a biblical treatise he had authored titled “Code of the Heart.” The David Firm ceased operations in early 2009 when federal search warrants were executed at several locations associated with the firm.

The indictment unsealed Tuesday charged each of the 12 defendants with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud through the making of false statements, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison; immigration fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. David alone is additionally charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

David, who allegedly fled to Canada after learning that the David Firm was under federal criminal investigation, was arrested Tuesday morning in Ontario, Canada, by the Toronto Fugitive Squad of the Toronto Police Service and is expected to face extradition proceedings.


You may also visit us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube, or access this news release on your mobile device.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423 or complete our tip form.

=

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.