Tracy Resident Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for “H-1B” Visa Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Abhijit Prasad was sentenced today to three years in prison for visa fraud and aggravated identity theft. In addition, the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of California, ordered the forfeiture of $1,193,440.
The case originated in Sacramento when the grand jury there indicted Prasad in 2016, but the case was ultimately tried in San Francisco following a court order transferring the case. U.S. Attorney David Anderson for the Northern District of California and U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott for the Eastern District of California made the announcement.
Prasad, 52, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 5 of 19 counts of visa fraud, two counts of fraudulent obtainment of foreign visas, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. According to the evidence at trial, Prasad filed 19 petitions for H-1B nonimmigrant visas containing false statements, made under penalty of perjury, as to purported work projects to be performed at locations in California, including Cisco Systems. The evidence at trial showed that Cisco had no expectation that the foreign workers who were the beneficiaries of the visa petitions would actually work at Cisco on an existing work project. The evidence at trial further showed that the defendant knowingly submitted forged Cisco documents to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in support of his claims that the beneficiaries would work at Cisco.
Finally, the evidence at trial showed that Prasad fraudulently used the digital signature of a Cisco employee, who was not authorized to sign Cisco employment documents, to create a document that would leave the impression that two of the H-1B workers had an existing work project at Cisco. Prasad obtained two of the H-1B visas using this fraudulent document that purports to be a fully executed Cisco contract.
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 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. Attorneys Audrey B. Hemesath and Michael A. Rodriguez prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen D. Beausey handled the forfeiture.