Telugu businessman jailed in US on several charges including visa fraud

Telugu businessman jailed in US on several charges including visa fraud
Highlights

A Telugu businessman has been sentenced to jail for 30 months for his involvement in a conspiracy to commit visa fraud, use of false documents, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

A Telugu businessman has been sentenced to jail for 30 months for his involvement in a conspiracy to commit visa fraud, use of false documents, mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

The accused, Venkat Guntipally, his wife, Sunitha Guntipally of Fremont, and two others, Pratap ‘Bob’ Kondamoori, and Sandhya Ramireddi of Pleasanton, were charged by a federal grand jury on May 5, 2016, for the submission of fraudulent applications for H-1B speciality-occupation work visas.

On April 24, 2017, Venkat Guntipally had pleaded guilty and admitted that he along with his wife founded two employment-staffing companies for technology firms - DS Soft Tech and Equinett.

Also, he admitted to submitting more than 100 fraudulent petitions to the government for foreign workers to be placed at other pretend companies between 2010 and 2014.

The purpose of the scheme was to create a pool of H-1B workers who could be given legitimate employment positions in the Northern District of California and other places. The scheme had either the non-existing companies listed in the fraudulent H-1B applications or not receive the proposed H-1B workers. He is also learned to have directed workers to lie to investigators and money laundering.

Venkat Guntipally, along with his co-conspirators earned millions through the scheme.

While he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, the remaining charges were dismissed. In addition to the prison term, Guntipally will have to serve three years of supervised release and forfeit $500,000. According to the order, he has to self-surrender on or before June 14, 2019. The other three co-defendants earlier pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and last year Sunitha Guntipally was sentenced to 52 months in prison. The other two accused - Ramireddi was given to 14 months in prison and Kondamoori to 20 months for their respective charges.

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