Thursday, March 28, 2019

Rochester Man Sentenced For Visa Fraud

USCIS assisted in case combatting H-1B Visa Fraud

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced last week that Anjaneyulu Katam, 46, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of visa fraud, was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in prison and fined $5,000 by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who handled the case, stated that between 2011 and 2017, Katam ran businesses in which he falsified immigration documents for Indian nationals to enter the U.S. and work in tech industries involving computer programming. The defendant manipulated the H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers temporarily to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Katam falsified visa applications, work experience documents, and work contracts, which he then submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State, in order to secure illegal H-1B visas for Indian nationals. This resulted in the unlawful entry and employment of several Indian nationals within the United States.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officer in Buffalo identified fraud in this case.  USCIS FDNS then reached out to and coordinated with the investigating agencies, leading to the confirmation and prosecution of visa fraud.

As part of the investigation, federal agents identified multiple assets, including strip malls, and bank accounts, Katam acquired using proceeds from the visa fraud. The defendant will forfeit approximately $1,090,490.32 to the Government.         

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations-Labor Racketeering and Fraud, under the direction of Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Region; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; and the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, under the direction of the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office, Timothy Dumas.

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