A 44-year-old Telugu man of Indian-origin named Ramesh Venkata Pothuru has been sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in the US after being convicted for wire and visa fraud. Ramesh had allegedly collected over $450,000 in illegal filing fees for more than 100 fraudulent H-1B visas and employer-sponsored green cards for Indian workers.
Ramesh is a former owner and operator of Virgo Inc. and Isync Solutions. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a statement regarding Ramesh's sentencing, following a joint investigation by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF).
The investigation revealed that Ramesh had resorted to discrepancies between 2010 and 2013. He had allegedly collected the money through direct payments to his personal bank accounts and later submitted false applications in which he didn't identify the fees and even mentioned that he did not collect the money.
Ramesh had illegally collected the costs of permanent foreign labor certification and the filing fees. The Federal regulations prohibit employers from soliciting payments from H-1B non-immigrant workers to cover the expenses towards the filing fees. The fees should be borne by the sponsoring US employer.