The trio pleads not guilty and have been released on bail. Their next hearing is in May.
Three Indian Americans were arrested last week in California and Texas for H-1B visa fraud.
Businessmen Kishore Dattapuram, Kumar Aswapathi and Santosh Giri, who set up a consulting firm by the name of Nanosemantics Inc. in Santa Clara, CA, allegedly submitted fraudulent H-1B applications between May 2012 and 2015. In the indictment, the Department of Justice said that this was done in order to gain a competitive advantage over competing firms.
The trio, who hail from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in India, were arrested on March 27.
Dattapuram, of Santa Clara, Aswapathi, of Austin, Texas, and Santosh Giri, of San Jose, CA, have each been charged with a count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and 10 counts of substantive visa fraud.
“The defendants were arrested yesterday in their respective towns of residence,” a release published on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website says. Dattapuram and Aswapathi made their initial appearances in federal court in San Jose and Austin, respectively. Giri made his initial appearance today in federal court in San Jose. All three defendants entered pleas of not guilty and were released on bonds. Defendants are next scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. on May 13, 2019, for a status conference before the Honorable Judge Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Judge.”
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of ten years, and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate for each violation of 18 USC 1546(A) (visa fraud). The men can also face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate for the conspiracy count.