Kishore Kumar Kauvuru, 46, was arrested on Friday morning in California on the charges of H-1B visa fraud.
He was produced before the US Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen and was later released on bond.
Kavuru has been charged with ten counts of visa fraud and as many counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to maintain a pool of foreign workers for the clients of his consulting companies.
In connection with fraud, Kavuru faces ten years in prison and a maximum fine of USD 250,000 for each count of visa fraud and up to 20 years of imprisonment for each count of mail fraud.
Kavuru was the owner and Chief Executive Officer of four consulting companies since 2007, is accused of submitting fraudulent work-project documents to both the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security. These documents contained the details of bogus work projects awaiting the foreign workers.
Kavuru used to take money to prepare and submit visas. Because many of the applications were ultimately approved, the Indian-American had a pool of unemployed H-1B beneficiaries that were immediately available for legitimate work projects, giving him a competitive advantage over other staffing companies that followed the sometimes-lengthy visa-application process, federal prosecutors said.
As part of the scheme, Kavuru required some prospective workers to pay thousands of dollars in cash before he would prepare and submit the visa applications. He also needed some workers to wait for unpaid, sometimes for months, to be placed at an end-client’s workplace, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Kavuru submitted and mailed approximately 43 petitions for H-1B software engineers.