Four executives of New Jersey based Indian IT staffing and consultancy companies, Procure Professionals and Krypto IT Soultions, have been arrested in June 2019 on charges of fraudulently using the H-1B visa program to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.
The four Indian IT staffing company executives are:
- Venkataramana Mannam (47) of Edison, New Jersey
- Vijay Mane (39) of Princeton, New Jersey
- Fernando Silva (53) of Princeton, New Jersey
- Sateesh Vemuri (52) of San Jose, California
According to the court documents and statements:
Mane, Mannam, and Vemuri controlled two IT staffing companies located in Middlesex County, New Jersey – Procure Professionals Inc. and Krypto IT Solutions Inc. Silva and Mannam also controlled another New Jersey staffing company, referred to in the complaint as “Client A.” The defendants used Procure and Krypto to recruit foreign nationals and sponsor them for H-1B visas, which allow recipients to live and work temporarily in the U.S. in positions requiring specialized skills. To expedite their visa applications, the defendants caused Procure and Krypto to file H-1B applications falsely asserting that the foreign worker/beneficiaries had already secured positions at Client A, when, in reality, no such positions existed. Instead, the defendants used these fraudulent applications to build a “bench” of job candidates already admitted to the United States, who could then be hired out immediately to client companies without the need to wait through the visa application process, giving the defendants an advantage over their competitors in the staffing industry.
Venkataramana Mannam, Fernando Silva and Vijay Mane appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark federal court on June 25, 2019 and June 27, 2019 respectively.
And, Sateesh Vemuri made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court on July 1, 2019.
All four executives of Procure Professionals and Krypto IT Soultions were released on $250,000 bond.
On the conspiracy to commit H-1B Visa fraud charge, Venkataramana Mannam, Vijay Mane, Fernando Silva and Sateesh Vemuri face a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison.
In addition to the prison time, the H1-B visa fraud charge carries a fine of $250,000.
Venkataramana Mannam, Vijay Mane, Fernando Silva and Sateesh Vemuri must be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.