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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

Friday, May 13, 2016

Collierville Businessman Pleads Guilty To Obtaining Fraudulent Work Visa Permits

Memphis, TN A Collierville businessman has pleaded guilty in federal court to a one count information charging him with conspiracy to fraudulently obtain work visa permits. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee announced the guilty plea today.

According to the information presented in court, Ramesh Basa, age 51, of Collierville, Tennessee owned and operated Comspark International, a Memphis based corporation working in the area of software development and information technology. Starting sometime in 2009, Basa began obtaining fraudulent H1B visas. An H1B Visa is a visa that allows a foreign national with a special skill to lawfully enter and work in the United States. Part of the application packet is a document commonly referred to as an "End Client Letter." The End Client Letter sets out the nature of the employment offer, the potential employee’s name and a number of other facts.

The information states that Basa, and others working for him, created false End Client Letters in order to obtain H1B Visas. These fraudulent visas allowed the foreign national beneficiaries to be present, and legally work in the United States. Basa and his company then hired them out to other companies. Basa profited in several ways from the scheme, including the fact that he got a percentage of the salary of every individual hired out.

Basa faces a sentence of up to five years imprisonment, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a period of up to three years of supervised release. Pursuant to a plea agreement he will also forfeit property worth $500,000. Basa is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Sheryl Lipman on August 12, 2016.

This case was investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State, Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor. The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Godwin.

Updated May 16, 2016