Fake rabbi sent to jail

By Zoe Winograd, April 12, 2013
New York lawyer sentenced to jail (Photo: Erik Daniel Drost)

New York lawyer sentenced to jail (Photo: Erik Daniel Drost)

A New York immigration lawyer who pretended to be a rabbi has been sentenced to four years in jail.

Earl Seth David, 49, known as Rabbi Avraham David, used the title of rabbi for 13 years to gain the trust of US immigrants looking to bid for naturalisation. According to sources, David pocketed up to $30,000 per case to forge false immigration papers.

The lawyer fled to Canada in 2006 after his law firm was put under investigation. David was extradited to the US on Wednesday where he appeared in a New York court and pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, making false statements to immigration authorities and money laundering. He was sentenced to four years in jail and forced to pay $2.5 million in damages.

In 2003 David wrote a book titled ‘Code of the heart’ under the name Rabbi Avraham David which gave predictions about the future based on the Bible. According to Federal prosecutors, David used the name of the book as the name of his bank account in the US and Canada to profit from the immigration scam.

Last updated: 10:56am, April 12 2013