Couple Pleads Guilty to $20 Million Visa Fraud Involving Indian Workers
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Raju Kosuri, 44, and Smriti Jharia, 45, a married couple from Ashburn, pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and visa fraud, among other charges.
Kosuri and Jharia were indicted on April 27. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Kosuri, Jharia, and their co-conspirators fraudulently applied for more than 900 illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program. Since 2008, and at much greater scale since 2011, Kosuri has built a staffing business that amounts to a visa-for-sale system, in violation of federal law. Kosuri and Jharia also admitted to defrauding the Small Business Administration in connection with a scheme to obtain HUBZone certification for a business named EcomNets Federal Solutions. Kosuri agreed to forfeit proceeds of his fraud schemes in the amount of $20,900,000.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington; Bill A. Miller, Director of Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. Department of State; and Robin Blake, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Inspector General; and Kimberly Zanotti, Washington Field Office Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), made the announcement after the pleas were accepted by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul K. Nitze and Angela Fiorentino-Rios are prosecuting the case.
The case was investigated by HSI, DSS, DOL-OIG, and USCIS. Assistance was provided by the Virginia Office of the State Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fairfax County Police Department.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-CR-43.