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Indian-American arrested over H-1B visa fraud in Silicon Valley

Aakanksha Raghuvanshi

Indian-American arrested over H-1B visa fraud in Silicon Valley

03 Nov 2018: Indian-American arrested over H-1B visa fraud in Silicon Valley

A 46-year-old Indian-American was arrested yesterday morning in California on charges of H-1B visa fraud.

Kishore Kumar Kavuru, who was produced before US Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen, has been charged with 10 counts of visa fraud and also as many counts of mail fraud, in connection with a scheme where he maintained a pool of foreign workers for his consulting companies' clients.

Crime: Kumar accused of submitting fraudulent work documents to the state

In connection with the fraud, Kumar faces 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each count of visa-fraud and up to 20 years of imprisonment for each mail fraud count.

Kumar, the owner and CEO of four consulting companies since 2007, is accused of submitting fraudulent work-project documents to both the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security.

Money fraud: Kumar used to take money to prepare and submit visas

Because many of the applications were ultimately approved, Kumar had a pool of unemployed H-1B beneficiaries that were immediately available for legitimate work projects.

This gave him a competitive advantage over other staffing companies that followed a lengthy visa application process, federal prosecutors said.

As part of the scheme, Kumar took thousands of dollars from prospective workers to prepare and submit their visa application.

Details: Kavuru submitted petitions for posts that didn't exist

Kumar also required some workers to wait unpaid, sometimes for months, to be placed at an end-client's workplace, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Through his consulting companies, he submitted and mailed approximately 43 petitions for H-1B software engineers,

"In fact, there were no software engineer positions available at the benefits company," federal prosecutors added.

Kumar was later released on bond.