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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tracy Resident Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For “H-1B” Visa Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

Defendant also ordered to forfeit more than $1 million

SAN FRANCISCO —Abhijit Prasad was sentenced today to 36 months in prison following his conviction at trial for visa fraud and aggravated identity theft.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of California.  

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 August 5, 2019, of 19 counts of visa fraud, two counts of fraudulent obtainment of foreign visas, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.  The case originated in Sacramento where a federal grand jury indicted Prasad in 2016.  The case ultimately was tried in San Francisco following a court order transferring the case there.  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.

In addition, 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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer ordered Prasad to forfeit $1,193,440.87.  Prasad is in federal custody and will begin serving his prison term immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Audrey B. Hemesath, Michael A. Rodriguez, and Karen Beausey are prosecuting the case.  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. 
 

Updated December 18, 2019