Busted: 10 Indian-Americans arrested for visa fraud

Washington, April 6 | Ten Indian Americans are among 21 people arrested as part of a sting operation in which a fake university was created by US authorities to expose a visa scam that allowed more than 1,000 foreigners to maintain student and work visas.

In a nationwide sweep, federal authorities arrested 21 people in New York, New Jersey, Washington and Virginia. “These defendants arranged to obtain visas by having individuals enroll in a fake university. Unfortunately for them, the fake university was run by undercover agents of the Department of Homeland Security,” Paul J Fishman, US Attorney for New Jersey, told reporters.

The arrested people were brokers, recruiters and employers who unlawfully and fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain student visas and foreign worker visas for approximately 1,000 foreign nationals from 26 countries.

It is learnt that a large number of students who received necessary visa and permits to work in the US as a result of the sting operation for which they reportedly paid huge sums of money are from India.

Officials, however, did not give the number of Indian students who were trapped by this year-long sting operation done by immigration and law enforcement authorities.

While the US Government did not reveal the nationality of the arrested people, names released by authorities indicate that 10 of them are either Indians or of Indian-origin.

Those name include: Tajesh Kodali, Jyoti Patel, Shahjadi M Parvin, Narendra Singh Plaha, Sanjeev Sukhija, Harpreet Sachdeva, Avinash Shankar, Karthik Nimmala, Govardhan Dyavarashetty and Syed Qasim Abbas.

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