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New York lawyer pleads guilty in fraud scheme

Earl Seth David improperly applied for legal status for aliens

A suspended lawyer, who federal prosecutors accuse of leading a multimillion-dollar immigration scheme, has pleaded guilty. New York attorney Earl Seth David was the ringleader behind a Manhattan law firm’s scheme, which involved applying for legal status for thousands of illegal immigrants by claiming U.S. employers were sponsoring them, officials say.

The fraudulent activity ran the course of 13 years and garnered millions of dollars with some of the potential clients paying upwards of $30,000 in cash, according to prosecutors. In its investigation, the government uncovered 25,000 immigration applications the firm submitted—most of which contained false or fictitious information.

David was arrested in October 2011 in Canada, when criminal charges against him and 11 others were unsealed. The other individuals include accountants, who assisted with the creation of falsified tax return forms, employees in David’s law firm and an employee in the U.S. Department of Labor.

At yesterday’s hearing, David pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make materially false statements related to immigration applications, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He could face up to eight years in prison. 

Contributing Author

Cathleen Flahardy

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