SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Four Indian Americans — Sunitha Guntipally, Venkat Guntipally, Pratap Kondamoori, Sandhya Ramireddi — were charged with conspiracy to commit H-1B visa fraud, mail fraud, use of false documents and other offenses last week.
Guntipally and Ramireddi were charged additionally with witness tampering, and Kondamoori was issued a charge of obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department. The 33-count indictment alleges crimes in connection with the submission of fraudulent applications for H-1B specialty-occupation work visas.
The four co-defendants allegedly employed three California corporations in the submission of more than 100 fraudulent H-1B visa applications, according to the indictment.
One of those companies, Fremont-based DS Soft Tech and Equinett, was founded and owned by the husband and wife team of Venkat and Sunitha Guntipally, according to the indictment. The two additionally founded two staffing-firms. Venkat served as the president for both companies, with his wife serving as vice president.
The indictment alleges that all of the companies founded never actually existed, and that the companies never intended to receive the foreign workers whose names were listed on the H-1B applications. Between 2012 and 2013, DS Soft Tech and Equinett submitted approximately 22 separate petitions for H-1B workers for a company named SemSolar, Inc., operated by Kondamoori, according to the indictment. The petitions and supporting documents stated that workers would be placed at SemSolar to work on a specific product. The defendants allegedly knew that no such product existed, and had no intention of placing said workers at SemSolar in any capacity.
During the four year period all of this was going on between 2010 and 2014, the co-defendants generated net-profits of $3.3 million and gross profits of approximately $17 million, the indictment said.
As mentioned previously, Kondamoori, Sunitha Guntipally and Ramireddi have been additionally alleged to have made attempts to conceal the defendants’ conduct.
Kondamoori met with federal law enforcement officers who were investigating the visa fraud, and is alleged to have told said officers that SemSolar was developing a product called “Eftia Master Scribe,” which required the labor of H-1B workers. He added that Softbank, Sprint Wireless’ parent company, was an investor and business partner of other companies he had founded. All such representations are false, the indictment said.
Guntipally is alleged to have provided H-1B candidates with false documents or advised the workers to intentionally mislead government agents. His objective was to “hinder, delay, and prevent the beneficiary from communicating truthful information to government agents,” the indictment said.