Georgia Man Sentenced to 40 Months in Federal Prison for Visa Fraud
Tampa, Florida - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. yesterday sentenced Ravinder Reddy Allala (42, Cumming, Georgia) to 40 months in federal prison for visa fraud and conspiracy.
Allala pleaded guilty on November 3, 2011.
According to court documents, between 2006 and 2010, Allala operated a company named Laconia Associates, Inc., which conducted business out of Tampa and the surrounding area. Laconia purported to be an information technology consulting firm and employee leasing company. However, Laconia, at Allala’s direction, submitted at least 147 false H1B visa applications for Indian nationals. The H1B Visa Program allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, which cannot be filled from within the United States by a U.S. citizen.
Allala submitted many of these false visa applications under a fake name, and in many instances, the work place listed for the aliens was also fake. As to the fake name, Allala provided investigators with fake documents purporting to belong to a particular person and stated, in a recorded conversation, that he paid an individual in India $20,000 to assume the identity of the person, if needed to fool investigators.
As to the fake address, many of the visa applications list Laconia's address and the proposed work location of the aliens as being on Ehrlich Road, Suite 134, in Tampa. In fact, this location is a UPS store where Allala leased box number 134. Allala created and submitted a false lease to immigration officials, to represent office space at this location.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.