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Earl Seth David, aka Rabbi Avrahom David, plead guilty yesterday to conspiracy and wire fraud charges and agreed to pay $2.5 million in forfeiture.But immigration fraud is not David’s first brush with the law, however.
A 2000 SEC order describes David as having wilfully participated in the securities fraud involving Teletek, Inc. common stock from 1991 till 1993. David settled with SEC “without admitting or denying the findings set forth herein,” never actually confirming SEC’s conclusions regarding his role.
This shady character has only been calling himself a rabbi for a few years, since he fled New York in 2006 for Toronto and became a regular at the Congregation Shaarei Tzedec.
David allegedly started the immigration scam in 1996, four years prior to his settlement with the SEC. He and other employees working at the law firm implicated by the lawsuit allegedly charged up to $30,000 to apply for legal status for thousands of immigrants using falsified documents claiming that the immigrants were “sponsored” by employers. The government has identified at least 20,000 applications submitted by David’s law firm that contain falsified information.
David was suspended from the law practice in 2004 due to his involvement in the SEC case. The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court was so “impressed by respondent’s evident rehabilitation in the more than 10 years since the misconduct took place, and by his expressions of remorse for his wrongdoing” that his suspension only lasted 15 months. But according to U.S. Attorney’s Office that did not stop him from continuing to operate the “immigration fraud mill” until early 2009, even after he fled to Canada in 2006.
By October of last year, 27 individuals (including David) were charged with the crime, but David was not extradited from Canada until January 24 of this year.
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