4 Indian-Americans working in two IT Staffing Organizations in the US have been arrested. They have been charged with unlawfully using the H1B Visa Program to get an edge over their competitors.
The H1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa of the USA. It allows companies in the US to sponsor foreign workers in special occupations that require technical expertise.
The 4 persons arrested are Vijay Mane, Fernando Silva, Venkataramana Mannam and Sateesh Vemuri. Mr Vemuri has been arrested from California while the other 3 have been arrested from New Jersey. Each of them has been charged with the conspiracy of committing visa fraud, said the Dept. of Justice.
Mr Vemuri made his first appearance on 1st July in the Newark Federal Court before Judge Steven C Mannion. Mr Mannam and Mr Silva appeared on 25th June before Judge Leda Wettre in the Newark Federal Court. Mr Mane appeared on 27th June before Judge Wettre.
The Dept. of Justice has said that all of them have been released on a bond of $250,000, as per NDTV.
Visa conspiracy charges in the US carry a penalty of $250,000 and 5 years of imprisonment.
Mr Vemuri, Mr Mane and Mr Mannam administered two IT-Recruitment Companies in New Jersey- Krypto IT Solutions Inc. and Procure Professionals Inc. Mr Mannam and Mr Silva also controlled another staffing company in New Jersey which been named as “Client A” in the charges.
The arrested individuals used to hire foreign workers through the companies Krypto and Procure. They then sponsored them for the H1B Visa which allowed these workers to live and work in the US.
To expedite their H1B applications, these 4 individuals used to falsify information in the visa applications. They asserted that the foreign workers had already secured job offers at “Client A”. However, no such positions existed in reality.
Using these fraudulent ways, these 4 created a pool of foreign workers who were already admitted into the country. These workers could then be hired out to companies who did not wish to wait for the visa application process. This gave them an undue advantage over their competitors in the US.
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