The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced the finalization of an investigation into a multiyear visa fraud scheme. Two suspects – Raju Kosuri and Smriti Jharia – have pleaded guilty to the charges, which included conspiracy to defraud the United States government, visa fraud, and other related crimes.
The married couple was accused of running an illegitimate business, likely mainly out of their community in Ashburn, Virginia, that sold H-1B visas and other employment-based visas. The co-conspirators had allegedly applied for and received close to 1,000 illegal immigration benefits. They also created a business named EconNets Federal Solutions, in which they disguised a fraudulent HUBZone certification and hid some of their schemes and operations. Many of the purchasers of the fraudulent visas are suspected to not have known that they were being given invalid visas; there could be a series of deportations or other serious immigration case investigations as a result.
As part of the plea bargain, Raju Kosuri agreed to forfeit the profits that he made through his fraudulent business. At this time, it is estimated that he will surrender $20.9 million. It is not known if Smriti Jharia has a portion of proceeds to herself, and if she will agree to forfeit it as well if she does.
The case’s conclusion marks a major success for the USCIS and the American government. Assistance to locate and shut down the illegitimate visa business also came from many other sources, including the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Fairfax County Police Department, and more.
For additional information regarding this case, you can visit the USCIS website and newsfeed by clicking here.