SUNNYVALE (CBS SF) – A Sunnyvale man has been sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay more than $500,000 after admitting to a H-1B visa fraud scam.
According to acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds’ office, 49-year-old Kishore Kumar Kavuru received a 15 month sentence after pleading guilty to one count of visa fraud.READ MORE: 'The Long Good-Bye'; New Hope In The Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease
Prosecutors said that Kavuru was the owner, operator and CEO of four different staffing companies that claimed to specialize in obtaining H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers and placing them in tech companies. The H-1B program allows employers to temporarily hire skilled foreign workers on a nonimmigrant basis.
In his plea agreement, Kavuru admitted to submitting more than 100 H-1B visa applications that falsely described available job positions and falsely stated the workers were to be placed at those companies. He also admitted that he required workers seeking visas to pay him thousands of dollars to prepare and submit their applications, which is against Department of Labor regulations.READ MORE: Returning Thanksgiving Travelers Encounter Few Delays At Local Airports
Prosecutors said Kavuru also violated labor regulations by telling H-1B visa recipients to go unpaid for months while he looked for legitimate H-1B positions for them.
The government determined that Kavuru fraudulently obtained more than $1.5 million from the scheme.
Along with prison time, a judge ordered Kavuru to forfeit more than $533,000. Prosecutors said he would also be subject to three years of supervised release after leaving prison.MORE NEWS: Bay Area Motorists Suffering From Gas Pump Sticker Shock As Prices Continue To Soar
Kavuru is scheduled to begin his sentence on February 10.