Indian American Charged for Visa and Mail Fraud
Kavuru used the consulting companies he owned to process and submit fraudulent applications for foreign workers to obtain permission to work in the U.S. under the H-1B visa program.
An Indian American man has been charged for H-1B visa fraud and mail fraud in California on Oct. 2.
Kishore Kumar Kavuru, 46, of Sunnyvale, California was arrested based on an indictment passed on Oct. 18 by a federal grand jury where the defendant has been charged with ten counts of visa fraud and ten counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to maintain a pool of foreign workers for the clients of Kavuru’s consulting companies.
According to the statement, Kavaru held himself out as a staffing specialist for technology firms based in Santa Clara County and elsewhere seeking to fill temporary positions with foreign workers. Since at least as early as 2007, Kavuru was the owner and chief executive officer of four consulting companies, including Scopus Consulting Group, Inc., ITECH Analyst Corp, Infinity Methods Corp, and Orian Engineers Incorporated.
According to the court papers, Kavuru used the consulting companies to process and submit fraudulent applications for foreign workers to obtain permission to work in the United States under the H-1B visa program.
He allegedly submitted sham applications through his consulting companies to gain a competitive advantage over other staffing companies that did not have foreign workers immediately available to work.
Kavuru has also been charged with submitting false documents and details of bogus work projects awaiting foreign workers to both the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security containing. Because many of the applications were ultimately approved, Kavuru had a pool of unemployed H-1B beneficiaries that were immediately available for legitimate work projects, giving him a competitive advantage over other staffing companies that followed the sometimes lengthy visa application process for petitioning foreign workers.
Moreover, Kavuru required some prospective workers to pay thousands of dollars in cash before he would prepare and submit the visa applications, a violation of Department of Labor regulations. Kavuru also made some workers wait unpaid, sometimes for months, to be placed at the client’s workplace. This process known as “benching” workers without pay is also a direct violation of the Department of Labor’s regulations.
Kavuru further violated the law by filing false documents to the U.S. to indicate that he had a contract to place software engineers to work on a specific project at an employee benefits and health insurance brokerage company. Through his consulting companies, Kavuru has reportedly submitted and mailed approximately 43 petitions for H-1B software engineers to be placed at the benefits company. But in reality, there were no software engineer positions available at the benefits company.
If convicted, Kavuru will be facing a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater) for each count of visa fraud. The defendant also faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine maximum fine of $250,000 for each count of mail fraud. The court also held the power to order as part of a sentence additional fines, terms of supervised release, and restitution, if found appropriate, the statement said.
Kavuru made his initial federal court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen and later was released on bond. He will be appearing before the court for arraignment and identification of counsel on Nov. 9, the court statement noted.