Indian-American Couple Pleads Guilty To USD 20 Million H-1B Visa Fraud

Raju Kosuri, 44
Raju Kosuri, 44

Raju Kosuri, 44, and Smriti Jharia, 45, a married Indian American couple from Ashburn, Virginia has pleaded guilty to the charges of 20 million US dollars visa fraud involving Indian workers, the Justice Department has said.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Kosuri, Jharia and their co-conspirators fraudulently applied for more than 900 illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation Department (HSI) arrested the Indian couple and their four accomplices earlier and were indicted on April 27.

Since 2008, and at much greater scale since 2011, Kosuri has built a staffing business that amounts to a visa-for-sale system, in violation of federal law, the Justice Department said.

Kosuri and Jharia also admitted to defrauding the Small Business Administration in connection with a scheme to obtain HUBZone certification for a business named EcomNets Federal Solutions.

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Kosuri agreed to forfeit proceeds of his fraud schemes in the amount of USD 20,900,000, a media release said.

In 2001, Kosuri used his new corporation to file an H-1B petition for Smriti Jharia to work for the firm as an H-1B. She was either then married to, or later became married to, Kosuri — the indictment is not helpful in this area. Kosuri, at the time of the indictment, is a lawful permanent alien, but probably did not have that status in 2001 when he used H-1B to bring his bride to this country. Had he had a green card in 2001 it would have been far easier, faster, and cheaper to cause her migration as a spouse. (The indictment can be seen in the PACER system of electronic court documents as case 1:16-cr-00043-LMB.)

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