Couple Pleads Guilty to $20 Million Visa Fraud Involving Indian Workers

Raju Kosuri, 44, and Smriti Jharia, 45, a married couple from Ashburn, Virginia, pleaded guilty Aug. 25, to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and visa fraud, among other charges.

Kosuri and Jharia were indicted on April 27. According to 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 built a staffing business that amounts to a visa-for-sale system, in violation of federal law, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia noted in a press release.

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 $20.9 million.

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