VISA FRAUD LEADER GETS A YEAR IN JAIL
March 25, 2019
The head of an illegal visa scheme has finally been sentenced. Anjaneyulu Katam, who was accused by the US Department of Justice of manipulating the H-1B visa program to help Indian nationals illegally enter the US, was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to forfeit $1.1 million in assets.
The government alleged that Katam ran a “IT Staffing Company” that had filed falsified visa applications in exchanged for payment and forced applicants to pay their own visa fees. The H-1B visa, which is intended to fill shortages of skilled laborers, has been under criticism for the ability to shift many IT jobs to foreign nationals.
Katam is not the only person to face charges due to visa fraud. Recently, several sting operations have been run against fake universities who were helping foreign nationals gain entry under false student visas. Additionally, others have faced similar charges for running fake IT staffing firms, an issue that is becoming more prominent with the rise in virtual workplaces.
It is important for potential applicants and employers to stick with the legal visa process and obtain appropriate legal counsel. With the recent USCIS announcement that employers face the potential for permanent bans from hiring foreign workers, the need for legal compliance is at an all-time high.