Indian American family faces deportation for $20 million H-1B visa fraud scheme

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H-1B visa fraud.

An Indian American businessman is facing deportation along with his family for a $20 million H-1B visa fraud involving Indian workers, Daily Pioneer reported.

Raju Kosuri, 45, is also sentenced to 28 months in prison. After completion of the prison term, he will be deported to India along with his wife, Smriti Jharia, 46, and their US-born son.

Judge Leonie M Brinkema of the US federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, said she wanted to send a strong message to those who are considering similar frauds. She added that the problems with the prosecution led to a moderate sentence in the case.

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Kosuri and Jharia were indicted last year on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and visa fraud, among other charges.

According to the indictment, Kosuri, Jharia, and their co-conspirators have fraudulently applied for more than 800 illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program.  Since 2008, Kosuri has built a staffing business that amounts to a visa-for-sale system, in violation of federal law.

The businessman fraudulently set up a number of shell companies and informed the immigration authorities that the company is in need of Indian workers. Using the identity of these companies, they filed petitions for non-existent job vacancies at Kosuri’s data center in Danville.

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They forged the signature of many individuals to use in different petitions and documents without their knowledge. Kosuri and his co-conspirators asked the workers to pay their own visa processing fees, in violation of H-1B program rules.

The indictment alleges that Kosuri has generated gross proceeds of at least $20 million over the life of the scheme.

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Separately, the indictment alleges that Kosuri and Jharia conspired with a consultant named Raimondo Piluso to defraud the Small Business Administration, by submitting fraudulent HUBZone applications.

Kosuri earned millions by the way of payments from the companies where the visa recipients worked. Along with this, he obtained millions worth bank loan by defrauding banks using the status of his shell companies and a $500,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission.