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USCIS Assists in $20 Million Visa Fraud Investigation

29 Aug

ALEXANDRIA, VA. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services assisted with an investigation that has led to Raju Kosuri, 44, and Smriti Jharia, 45, a married couple from Ashburn, pleading guilty today to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and visa fraud, among other charges.

Kosuri and Jharia were indicted on April 27. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Kosuri, Jharia, and their co-conspirators fraudulently applied for more than 900 illegal immigration benefits under the H-1B visa program. Since 2008, and at a much greater scale since 2011, Kosuri has built a staffing business that amounts to a visa-for-sale system, which violates federal law. Kosuri and Jharia also admitted to defrauding the Small Business Administration in connection with a scheme to obtain HUBZone certification for a business named EcomNets Federal Solutions. Kosuri agreed to forfeit proceeds of his fraud schemes in the amount of $20,900,000.

The following people made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the pleas:

    • Dana J. Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia
    • Clark E. Settles, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Washington, D.C.
    • Bill A. Miller, director of Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State
    • Robin Blake, special agent in charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General
    • Kimberly Zanotti, Washington Field Office director, USCIS

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul K. Nitze and Angela Fiorentino-Rios are prosecuting the case. The Virginia Office of the State Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fairfax County Police Department assisted with the investigation.

View a copy of this press release on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia’s website and on View related court documents on the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s website, or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-CR-43.