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LOS ANGELES � Two attorneys at one of the largest immigration law firms on the West coast have been indicted on charges of filing fraudulent employment visa applications on behalf of their own employees. Daniel E. Korenberg, a partner at the former Korenberg, Abramowitz & Feldun in Sherman Oaks, Calif., was indicted on charges of visa fraud, making false statements and conspiracy to commit visa fraud, while Steven James Rodriguez, an associate at the same firm, was indicted on making false statements and conspiracy. The 33-count indictment was returned yesterday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The firm, now called ASK Law Group, has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas. Philip Abramowitz, a partner at the firm, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and visa fraud. His sentencing is scheduled for April 9. Heidi Poepping, a paralegal, pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy to commit visa fraud. Her sentencing is scheduled for June 25. According to the indictment, the lawyers filed fraudulent petitions from 2000 to 2003 for immigrants seeking visas for temporary work or permanent residence in the United States. At least 14 of the immigrants were employees at the firm, primarily legal assistants and paralegals. The lawyers are accused of creating documents that falsified the applicant’s work experience and job status. They also paid their employees in cash until the visas were approved, prosecutors allege in the indictment. The firm has 16 lawyers and 60 support staff, according to its Web site. If convicted, Korenberg faces a maximum of 225 years in federal prison, while Rodriguez could serve up to 15 years. Neither returned calls to their firm for a comment. Stanley Greenberg, a solo practitioner in Los Angeles who represents Korenberg, said, “This case has been under investigation for over three years. It’s a relief to finally get a charge where we can go to trial and defend against it.” Errol Stambler, a lawyer in Los Angeles who represents Rodriguez, said his client has been cooperating with the government for three years. “Whether or not it is visa fraud, my client is completely 100% innocent of any criminal intent,” he said. Federal prosecutors also indicted two Los Angeles-based employment agencies, Job Seekers International and Employmasters International. In 2005, three owners and one employee of those agencies pleaded guilty to visa fraud and conspiracy charges and face sentencing on March 26. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and the California Employment Development Department conducted the investigation.

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