Vijayawada: The US justice department charged four Indian-Americans, including two from Andhra Pradesh for alleged H-1B visa fraud. The charges come in the backdrop of the US administration crackdown on outsourcing companies misuing H-1B programme.
The H-1B visa allows anyone to live and work in the US that require specialised skills.
The accused have been identified as Venkataramana Mannam (47) and Ravi Vemuri (52), who are originally from West Godavari, and two other Indians Vijay Mane (39) and Fernando Silva (53).
US attorney Craig Carpenito representing the Department of Justice in a press release on Tuesday said that the four were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and were later released on $2,50,000 bond.
The charge carries maximum sentence of five years in jail or the said amount fine.
According to the press release Vemuri, Mannam and Mane were running two IT staffing companies – Procure Professionals Inc and Krypto IT Solutions Inc in New Jersey, while Mannam and Silva also owned another company that was written as ‘Client A’.
“The defendants used the companies to recruit foreign nationals and sponsor them for H-1B visas and to expedite visa applications. They used fraudulent applications to build a “bench” of job candidates already admitted to the U.S. for immediate hiring by clients which is an advantage over competitors in the industry,” the release stated.
Meanwhile, The Telugu association has not responded to the query by a leading daily if Vemuri was a member of the association.