By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC
fraud.jpg
A husband and wife and four co-conspirators, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States of at least $20 million concerning more than 800 applications for illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program.

The indictment alleges that Raju Kosuri set up a network of shell companies that he presented to immigration authorities as independent businesses in need of Indian workers, but which he in fact owned and controlled. The indictment further alleges that Kosuri and his co-conspirators used these entities to file petitions for non-existent job vacancies at Kosuri’s data center in Danville, Virginia. Kosuri is alleged to have required workers to pay their own visa processing fees, in violation of H-1B program rules; and he allegedly treated the beneficiaries as hourly contractors, again in violation of H-1B visa program rules. The visa fraud scheme involved the forgery of numerous individuals’ signatures on visa petitions and exhibits, without their knowledge.

The three main co-conspirators, Kosuri, his wife, Smriti Jharia and Raimondo Piluso face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, if convicted. The other co-conspirators face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.