The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release on
May 6, 2016, stating that 4 Indian Americans were charged with
conspiracy to commit H-1B visa fraud, use of false documents and
mail fraud among other offences. Two of the four individuals
were also charged with witness tampering and one was charged with
obstruction of justice.
The four defendants were charged in a 33-count indictment
various offenses in relation to the alleged submission of
fraudulent applications for H-1B specialty-occupation work
According to the indictment, the couple Sunitha Guntipally and
Venkat Guntipally, Pratap "Bob" Kondamoori and Sandhya
Ramireddi, allegedly used three California corporations to
orchestrate the improper submission of more than 100 H-1B
specialty-occupation work visa applications. The Guntipallys
allegedly founded and owned DS Soft Tech and Equinett, two
employment-staffing companies for technology firms. Venkat
Guntipally served as the president of both companies, and Sunitha
Guntipally served as the vice president. Kondamooriis is alleged to
be the founder and owner of SISL Networks. Kondamoori's sister,
Ramireddy, is alleged to have been the human resources manager and
operations manager of all three companies.
Under the H-1B visa program, a U.S. employer can employ a
foreign national in the U.S. in certain specialty occupations for a
certain amount of time. The defendants submitted to the
U.S. government, or caused to be submitted, H-1B visa
application materials stating that the foreign workers named in the
applications would be placed at specific companies in the U.S.
However, according to the indictment, those companies either did
not exist or never intended to receive the foreign workers named in
the H-1B applications. For example, the indictment alleges that
between approximately 2012 and 2013, DS Soft Tech and Equinett
submitted approximately 22 separate petitions, signed under penalty
of perjury, for H-1B workers to be placed at a company called
SemSolar, Inc., operated by Kondamoori. Although the
petitions and supporting documents stated that the foreign workers
would be placed at SemSolar to work on a specific software product,
the defendants allegedly knew that SemSolar was not working on that
product, the defendants did not intend to place any of the H-1B
workers at SemSolar, and none of the workers who received H-1B
visas through the defendants' scheme ever worked at
Further, according to the indictment, between approximately 2010
and 2014, the defendants' companies submitted more than one
hundred additional fraudulent petitions for foreign workers to be
placed at other purported companies. The indictment alleges that
through their ownership, direction, and control of DS Soft Tech and
Equinett, the Guntipallys generated net profits from 2010 to 2014
of approximately $3.3 million and gross profits of approximately
In addition, Kondamoori, Sunitha Guntipally, and Ramireddi are
charged in connection with alleged efforts to conceal the
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