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Home Columns San Diego Happenings Lawyer Philip D. Abramowitz 'Not Eligible to Practice Law'
Lawyer Philip D. Abramowitz 'Not Eligible to Practice Law' PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Friday, 11 January 2008 05:45
The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Friday, January 11, 2008 

 

The sentencing by a federal judge of immigration lawyer Philip D. Abramowitz has been put off indefinitely. The State Bar of California, meanwhile, declared him ineligible to practice law. Abramowitz was a partner in KAF (Korenberg, Abramowitz & Feldun), now known as  ASK Law Group, whose branch office in San Diego is managed by Edwin Bael, a former consul general of the Philippines.

 

STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA SAYS: 

Lawyer Philip D. Abramowitz 'Not Eligible to Practice Law'

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

The writer is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

federal judge in Los Angeles, California, has put off the sentencing of an immigration lawyer popular in the Filipino community even as the State Bar of California has stripped him of his fitness to engage in law practice.

"He was not sentenced on Monday (January 7)," a spokesman at the Department of Justice told the Philippine Village Voice, referring to Philip D. Abramowitz, a name partner of the law firm formerly known as Korenberg, Abramowitz & Feldun (KAF), which is now known as ASK – Abramowitz, (Thomas J.) Stefanski, Korenberg – Law Group.

"The judge took the matter 'off calendar' and we do not know when it will be rescheduled," the spokesman explained. It was the second time Abramowitz's sentencing was postponed. Previously, it was set on December 17, 2007.

Abramowitz, 53, of Agoura Hills, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and visa fraud.

A partner at the law firm, Daniel E. Korenberg, 58, founder of KAF, pleaded guilty on October 4, 2007 to two counts of visa fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

The firm's senior attorney, Steven James Rodriguez, 40, pleaded guilty on October 5, 2007 to one count of making false statements to federal agents.

Both Korenberg and Rodriguez are scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson on January 18, the justice department spokesman said.

The State Bar of California has listed Abramowitz as "not eligible to practice law" as of July 25, 2007 as related to case number 06-C-15537; and again as of September 28, 2007 as related to case number 07-Q-13768.

State bar records indicate that Abramowitz tendered his resignation from the Bar "with charges" on Sept. 28.

Even with the State Bar listing, at least two San Diego newspapers -- the Philippine Mabuhay News and the Asian Journal -- still carried the ASK Law Group's quarter-page advertisements showing the pictures of Abramowitz and his two law partners.

The Mabuhay News had the bigger ad on page 4 of its Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2007, issue. The Asian Journal had a slightly smaller ad on page 11 of its October 5-11, 2007, issue. Subsequent ads after those dates already omitted the pictures of Abramowitz and Daniel Korenberg.

The KAF, now ASK Law Group, is based in Sherman Oaks, a city in the San Fernando Valley. The firm maintains offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas.

In San Diego, its downtown office is managed by Edwin Bael, a former consul general of the Philippines in Los Angeles. The law firm is quite popular with Filipinos.

The other defendants in the case included:

- Heidi Poepping, 45, of Moorpark, a paralegal at KAF, pleaded guilty in February 2006 to conspiracy to commit visa fraud;

- Arturo Valencia, 55, of Walnut, the owner of Job Seekers International, pleaded guilty two years ago to one count of visa fraud and one count of conspiracy;

- Maria Theresa Resurreccion, 39, of Anaheim, an employee of Job Seekers International, pleaded guilty two years ago to one count of visa fraud and one count of conspiracy;

- Arnel Dizon, 35, of Corona, a co-owner of Employmasters International, pleaded guilty two years ago to one count of visa fraud and one count of conspiracy; and

- Marlyn Rodriguez Dizon (Arnel’s wife), 43, of Los Angeles, a co-owner of Employmasters International, pleaded guilty in May 2005 to one count of visa fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The justice department spokesman said all of them are due for sentencing sometime this year.

The indictment followed a long-term investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, and the California Employment Development Department.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2000 and continuing through at least February 2003, the defendants filed fraudulent employment-based visa petitions on behalf of foreign nationals seeking temporary work authorization or permanent residency in the United States.

As alleged in the indictment, at least 14 of the aliens who benefited from the visa fraud scheme were KAF employees. 

The indictment details how KAF hired foreign nationals without work authorization for a variety of support positions, including paralegal jobs. The defendants then allegedly applied for fraudulent work visas for those employees and paid them “off the books” in cash until the visas were approved.

To support the visa petitions, the indictment alleges that the defendants created documents making false claims about the aliens’ work experience and offers of employment.  # # #

PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive
Volume 2, Issue No. 2 / News Without Fear or Favor

. . .  A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice (PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public . . .

 



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2008 09:55
 

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