dc-Cover-g9b8l508h0ij2ehp5541fctj51-20160317152804.MediWASHINGTON (Diya TV) — An Indian-American couple, Raju Kosuri and Smriti Jharia, as well as four co-conspirators, were indicted Thursday by a Virginia federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, visa fraud and various other charges.

Kosuri, his wife and the co-conspirators fraudulently applied for more than 800 illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program, according to the indictment. Since 2008, Kosuri created and maintained a staffing business as a front for a visa-for-sale platform, according to the Justice Department.

The indictment additionally alleges that Kosuri and his co-conspirators filed petitions for non-existent job vacancies at Kosuri’s data center in the Virginia city of Danville. Kosuri allegedly required workers to pay for their own visa processing fees, which is a direct violation of the H-1B program, and treated the beneficiaries as hourly contractors, an additional violation of the program.

The scheme was committed using forged signatures on visa petitions and exhibits without the knowledge of the applicants, the indictment said. Over the life of the scheme, Kosuri reportedly profited a gross of $20 million.

Separately, the indictment alleges that Kosuri and his wife also conspired with a consultant named Raimondo Piluso to defraud the Small Business Association, by submitting fraudulent HUBZone applications.

The three face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison if convicted, and the co-conspirators are facing a prison term of 10 years, if convicted.