Indian pleads guilty to visa fraud in US

Indian pleads guilty to visa fraud in US
New York, Sep 5: A 41-year old Indian has pleaded guilty for running an eight-year long visa fraud scheme to facilitate the illegal entry of Indian immigrants in the US by sponsoring their visa applications and falsely claiming to provide employment for them in the country.

Sandipkumar Patel of Edison, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before US District Judge William Walls of the District of New Jersey to conspiring to defraud the US and to filing a false federal income tax return. He will be sentenced in January next year, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division said in a statement.

According to court documents filed with the plea agreement, Patel sponsored visa applications of Indian nationals from 2001 to 2009 by falsely claiming to provide employment for them in the US. He falsely certified on the visa applications that he would employ the immigrants in various technical fields at several New Jersey companies, facilitating their illegal entry into the country.

Over the course of the scheme, immigrants paid Patel thousands of dollars for the false certifications to secure their visas. Patel issued payroll cheques and other payroll forms as a cover-up for his scheme. The Indian nationals were then required to reimburse Patel for his payroll tax expenses. He used the fraudulent payroll cheques to support false applications to extend the visas and charged the immigrants fees for the visa extensions.

As a result of falsely carrying the immigrant employees on his payrolls, Patel overstated his payroll expenses on his federal income tax returns by more than 1.4 million dollars over four years and under-reported his tax obligation by over 400,000 dollars for those years. 


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