7 NJ Desis Arrested in Visa Fraud Sting

New Jersey desis continue to make news for all the wrong reasons.

Seven New Jersey desis were arrested Tuesday by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit, and other offenses.

The defendants appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court Tuesday.

NJ Desis Arrested

The seven New Jersey desis were among 21 brokers, recruiters and employers who allegedly conspired with over 1,000 foreign nationals in India and China to fraudulently maintain student visas and obtain foreign worker visas through a fake “pay to stay” college in Cranford, New Jersey (UNNJ) that was created in September 2013 by Homeland Security Investigations agents.

Here are the seven NJ desis arrested and the charges against them:

1. Tajesh Kodali (44), Edison (NJ)
Charges: – Conspiracy to commit visa fraud & Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

2. Jyoti Patel (34), Franklin Park (NJ)
Charges: – Conspiracy to commit visa fraud &  Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

3. Narendra Singh Plaha (44), Hillsborough (NJ)
Charges: – Conspiracy to commit visa fraud & Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

4. Sanjeev Sukhija (35), North Brunswick (NJ)
Charges: – Conspiracy to commit visa fraud & Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

5. Harpreet Sachdeva (26), Somerset (NJ)
Charges: – Conspiracy to commit visa fraud & Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

6. Govardhan Dyavarashetty, a/k/a “Vardhan Shetty” (35), Avenel (NJ)
Charges: – H1-B Visa fraud, False statements &  Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

7. Shahjadi M. Parvin, a/k/a “Sarah Patel” (54) Hackensack (NJ)
Charges: – Conspiracy to commit visa fraud & Conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit

In addition, Karthik Nimmala (32) from Smyrna (Georgia) and Avinash Shankar (35) of Bloomington (Illinois) also landed in the immigration fraud sting and were arrested.

Hefty Penalties

If found guilty, the defendants will have to pay a hefty fine and go to prison as well.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, the charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and making a false statement each carry a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charges of conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit and H1-B Visa fraud each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.

The charges and allegations in the complaints are only accusations and every defendant must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Court Documents and Details:
21 Defendants Charged With Fraudulently Enabling Hundreds Of Foreign Nationals To Remain in U.S. Through Fake ‘Pay To Stay’ NJ College

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