Earl Seth David, also known as Rabbi Avraham David, applied for legal status for 25,000 illegal aliens based on phony claims that U.S. employers had sponsored those aliens for employment.
He operated the scheme out of his Manhattan law firm for 13 years, charging the aliens exorbitant fees of as much as $30,000, prosecutors said.
In exchange for his guilty plea, David faces 61/2 to eight years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 15. He also agreed to forfeit $2.5 million in proceeds.
David, who had fled to Canada in 2006 when he learned he was under investigation, was ordered held without bail by Manhattan Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald.