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Indian-American entrepreneurs charged with H-1B visa fraud

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dc-Cover-g9b8l508h0ij2ehp5541fctj51-20160317152804.MediSAN 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.

Basketball

India, Pakistan spar over women’s rights in Kashmir

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India

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — At the United Nations, both India and Pakistan’s representatives took shots at their counterpart over women’s rights. Islamabad’s outgoing envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said the women in Jammu and Kashmir were suffering due to the communication blackout in the state. India’s First Secretary to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said, without naming Pakistan, these “baseless statements” were ironic given the amount of honor killings that take place there annually.

Rajeev Majumdar is the new president of the Washington State Bar Association, becoming the first state bar president of South Asian descent in the United States.

For the first time, India entered the ranks of the top ten countries sending visitors to the United States, with tourists from India spending nearly $16 billion in the U.S. in 2018 alone.

And while the Kings and Pacers played two entertaining games in Mumbai, their legacy will include supporting five under-resourced schools in and around the region, outfitting them with Smart Classrooms, STEM training and new basketball courts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Gandhi 150th birth anniversary noted around the world

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Birth Anniversary

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) —  Celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have been ongoing for the past year, but culminated with a ceremony in New Delhi featuring Prime Minister Modi and another in Washington at the Library of Congress. And France’s government worked with the Indian Embassy there to issue a stamp in honor of his birth anniversary.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal are meeting this week to continue the US-India discussion on trade and investment.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb came to New Delhi to strengthen ties between the Hoosier State and India. Infosys has already made a large commitment there. Holcomb is part of a large delegation of Americans now heading Mumbai to take in the first-ever NBA preseason games in India featuring the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

Bollywood turned Hollywood actor Anupam Kher came to the Bay Area to keynote the Akshay Patra annual fundraising gala that helps feed children in India a hot meal during the school year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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