Indian-Origin Man Jailed in US for Conning H1B Visa, Green Card Hopefuls in India
Ramesh Venkata Pothuru collected over $450,000 in illegal filing fees and related expenses from more than 100 fraudulent visas and employer-sponsored green cards for non-immigrant workers from India.
Image for representation
New York: An Indian-origin man has been sentenced to prison in the US after being convicted for wire and visa fraud, under which he collected over $450,000 in illegal filing fees for H1B visas and green cards for workers from India.
Ramesh Venkata Pothuru, 44, a former owner and operator of Virgo Inc. and Isync Solutions, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison following convictions for wire and visa fraud, according to a statement from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The sentencing follows a joint investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF).
Pothuru collected over $450,000 in illegal filing fees and related expenses from more than 100 fraudulent visas and employer-sponsored green cards for nonimmigrant workers from his native India.
The investigation disclosed that between 2010 and 2013, Pothuru collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in filing fees from workers he was sponsoring under the H-1B nonimmigrant worker visa program.
Federal regulations prohibit employers from soliciting payments from H-1B non-immigrant workers to cover the costs associated with filing fees, which fees are required by law to be borne by the sponsoring US employer.
In addition, many of the H-1B non-immigrant workers were also recipients of employer-sponsored permanent foreign labor certification applications filed by Pothuru with the Department of Labor. Permanent foreign labor certification filings typically involve costs of over several thousand dollars in addition to the filing fees; Pothuru unlawfully collected both from the employees.
Pothuru collected these illegal fees and expenses from the employees he sponsored for H-1B visas and green cards through direct payments to his personal bank accounts. He subsequently submitted false applications in which he did not identify the fees that he collected from the non-immigrant workers and swore that he did not collect, the statement said.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Man Orders iPhone 11 Pro Worth Rs 93,000 from Flipkart, Receives Fake Phone Instead
- U2 Mumbai Concert: Ranveer-Deepika Wear Fanny Packs, Sachin Tendulkar Attends
- Garam Hava Actress Gita Siddharth Kak Passes Away in Mumbai
- Not Jewellery or Recipe, this Michigan Family’s Heirloom is a 141-year-old Fruitcake
- WhatsApp Will Sue Businesses That Bombard Users Will Bulk Messages