Tracy Resident Indicted for over 30 Counts of “H-1B” Visa Fraud and 2 Counts of Aggravated Identity Theft
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment Thursday against Abhijit Prasad, 49, of Tracy, charging him with 31 counts of visa fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to the indictment, Prasad filed 31 petitions for H-1B nonimmigrant visas containing false statements, made under penalty of perjury, as to purported work projects to be performed at various locations in California. The indictment further alleges that Prasad obtained two H-1B visas procured by fraud and false statements, and used the means of identification of a real person to effectuate his visa fraud scheme.
The case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service’s representative to the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF), overseen by the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations. The DBFTF is a multi-agency task force that coordinates investigations into fraudulent immigration documents. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Office of Fraud Detection and National Security also assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nirav Desai is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Prasad faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the visa fraud. He faces a two-year mandatory, consecutive prison sentence a $250,000 fine for the aggravated identity theft counts. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.