Indian-American couple pleads guilty to USD 20 mn visa fraud

, 12:40 PM IST

Washington: An Indian-American couple from Virginia has pleaded guilty to the charges of USD 20 million visa fraud involving Indian workers, the Justice Department has said.

Raju Kosuri, 44, and Smriti Jharia, 45, a married couple from Ashburn, Virginia 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, the Justice Department said.

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 USD 20,900,000, a media release said.