An Indian-American couple has been convicted on charges of H-1B visa fraud and will face up to 30 years imprisonment, the Department of Justice have said. Raju Kosuri, 44, and his wife Smriti Jharia, 45, of Ashburn, along with four co-conspirators fraudulently applied for over 800 illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program. They may face up to 30 years in the US prison.
The visa fraud scheme involves the forgery of numerous individuals’ signatures on visa petitions and exhibits without their knowledge. The indictment alleges that Kosuri has generated gross proceeds of at least $20 million over the life of the scheme, through a network of shell companies that he presents to immigration authorities as independent businesses in need of Indian worker, but which he in fact owns and controls.
The indictment also alleged that Kosuri and Jharia conspired with a consultant named Raimondo Piluso to defraud the Small Business Administration, by submitting fraudulent HUB Zone applications. The accused are alleged to have concealed the true location, ownership, and employees of a business called EcomNets Federal Solutions in order to obtain federal loan and contract preferences, from which they have generated $150,000 in loan proceeds and five contract awards.