Bay Area Indian News Corner

Guntipally, Ramireddi & Kondamoori Charged in Visa Fraud Scheme
3 Bay Area residents and Nevada man charged in major visa fraud scheme May 6, 2016 - Three desis from Bay Area and one from Nevada ======= SAN JOSE, Calif. – Three Bay Area residents and a Nevada man have been indicted on a variety of federal charges for allegedly submitting dozens of fraudulent applications for specialty worker visas in a scheme uncovered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, and the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. Sunitha Guntipally, 43, of Fremont; her husband, Venkat Guntipally, 47, of Fremont; Pratap “Bob” Kondamoori, 54, of Incline Village, Nevada; and his sister, Sandhya Ramireddi, 56, of Pleasanton, were named in a 33-count indictment filed Thursday charging them with conspiracy to commit visa fraud, use of false documents, mail fraud, and other offenses. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas Lerman aided by Nina Burney. The four defendants allegedly used three California corporations to orchestrate the submission of more than 100 fraudulent H-1B visa applications. According to the indictment, Venkat and Sunitha Guntipally founded and owned two employment-staffing companies for technology firms, DS Soft Tech and Equinett. Venkat Guntipally served as the president of both companies, and Sunitha Guntipally was vice president. The indictment further alleges Kondamoori is the founder and owner of SISL Networks, and his sister Ramireddi allegedly worked as the human resources and operations manager for all three firms. According to the indictment, the defendants submitted H-1B visa applications to the government claiming the foreign workers named in the applications would be placed at specific companies in the United States. However, the indictment notes the companies either did not exist or never intended to employ the foreign workers named in the defendants’ applications. The indictment states Kondamoori responded to federal law enforcement officers investigating the visa fraud conspiracy with various false representations. He allegedly claimed, among other things, that he and SemSolar were developing a product called “Eftia Master.Scribe” for which he required H-1B workers; that Softbank, Sprint’s parent company, was both an investor in SemSolar and a business partner of SISL Networks; and that Kondamoori was a general partner of Focus Ventures. According to the indictment, all of those representations were false. “Immigration benefit fraud is a serious crime,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. “Schemes like this create security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminals and others who pose a danger to our community. HSI and our law enforcement partners aggressively target those who conspire to corrupt the integrity of America’s legal immigration system and put our nation’s security at risk in the process.” The H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Program allows companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in the United States on a nonimmigrant basis in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the specific specialty.

California Desis Illegals to get Driver's License
January 2, 2015 - Indian illegal immigrants in California must be celebrating today.

After all, starting today the state's desi illegal immigrants can apply for a Driver's License. Surviving without a Driver's License in California is hard since public transportation in the state is limited.

Besides letting California illegal desis drive legally, the Driver's License will also serve as an Identity Card to access state and federal services, open bank accounts and gain entry into airports, courts and most federal buildings.

Because of opposition from anti-immigrant foes, most states prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing a Driver's License to illegal immigrants.

Unfortunately, major Indian immigrant hubs like New Jersey and New York still do not issue Driver's License to illegal immigrants. Since the number of Indian illegal immigrants in New Jersey and New York has been increasing in recent years, we assume that a lot of NY and NJ desis are driving without a U.S. Driver's License.

Thank God, California now offers a Driver's License to illegal immigrants too.

10 States where Indian Illegal Immigrants can get a Driver's License

1. California (effective January 2, 2015)
2. Maryland (effective January 1, 2014)
3. Connecticut (effective January 1, 2015)
4. Vermont (effective January 1, 2014)
5. Illinois (effective November 28, 2013)
6. Nevada (effective January 1, 2014)
7. Washington (effective July 25, 1993)
8. Utah (effective March 8, 2005)
9. New Mexico (effective 2003)
10. Colorado (effective January 1, 2014)
and the jurisdiction of
11. Washington D.C. (effective May 1, 2014)