This is a tale set in the Old South, about the latest in H-1B scams and the slowness of the judicial process.
The Locale: Danville, Va., a fading mill town on the North Carolina border, and one of at least two places claiming to be the locus of the last cabinet meeting of the Confederacy, in the summer of 1865.
The Scam: Up-to-the-moment H-1B fraud conducted by a middlewoman with an Indian name.
The Timing: We first reported on elements of this case close to five years ago.
The Scale: $20 million or so, not further defined, with 800 illegal aliens mentioned as being added, needlessly, to the American labor force.
The latest news in this old case is that an obscure unit in the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), has found that one of the players in the earlier case, Sanchita Bhattacharya:
violated § 1324c when she forged, counterfeited, altered, or falsely made documents to satisfy the [H-1B] employment eligibility verification requirements. The Complaint reflects that on July 23, 2019, the Department served a Notice of Intent to Fine upon Respondent. The Notice of Intent to Fine alleged fifty-seven violations of section 274C(a)(1) of the INA, and sought a fine of $21,375.00.
She filed H-1B papers saying that the employer had jobs for the Indian workers named in the documents. In fact, the firm doing the filing, EcomNets, Inc., had no such vacancies, but after the workers came to the U.S., illicit jobs were found for them (as H-1Bs) and the workers were charged fees for their illicit placements.
Bhattacharya, a lesser player in all this, escaped criminal charges, but remained subject to the possibility of a fine, which has now been levied. She should have been deported years ago along with the principal defendant, Raju Kosuri. The latter, several years ago, was jailed for 28 months and forced to make restitution of $150,000. The PACER file, as routinely is the case, does not deal with deportations as that is a matter for post-trial DHS action, if any. The PACER file for Kosuri, and his wife, Smriti Jharia, as well as Bhattacharya, is 1:16-cr-00043-LMB.
In my earlier report, noting that Kosuri and his wife were apparently still together at the time, I wrote "Perhaps operating on the well-known premise that a couple that preys together, stays together, the two apparently remain married to this date, and both were indicted together, as were four others."
One of the other four was Bhattacharya.