NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Three Indian-American senior executives, Suresh Hiranandaney, Lalit Chabria and Anita Chabria, who served privately owned for-profit schools, were sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court for their roles in a student financial aid fraud scheme in which they defrauded the United States Department of Education of $1 million in education grant funds, and in a student visa fraud scheme that generated $7.44 million in illegal revenues.

“Suresh Hiranandaney, Lalit Chabria, and Anita Chabria exploited our nation’s financial aid and foreign student visa programs, engaging in a long-running fraud scheme that generated millions of dollars. The defendants greedily took advantage of programs meant to help people get a higher education, and in the process, committed federal crimes,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Their arrests came after a nearly year-long investigation by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations , the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service , and the United States Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General.

Federal agents conducted raids on the Micropower Careers Institute in March of 2014
Federal agents conducted raids on the Micropower Careers Institute in March of 2014

District Judge Paul Oetken sentenced Hiranandaney and Lalit Chabria each to one year and one day in prison, Anita Chabria was reprimanded with six months of home confinement. Judge Oetken also ordered the three to forfeit $7.44 million for the student visa fraud and to pay $1 million in restitution for the student financial aid fraud.

According to court documents, the co-defendants were associates of the Micropower Career Institute, or the Institute for Health Education, both of which offered vocational, language, and other classes to domestic students whose tuition was partially covered by the Department of Education, and foreign students who were allowed to stay in the U.S. on student visas.

At the time of their sentencing, there still remained an additional two co-defendants in the case, Samir Hiranandaney and Seema Shah, whom were awaiting to hear their fates from Judge Oetken.