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Rochester man pleads guilty to Visa fraud


ROCHESTER -- Anjaneyulu Katam, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to visa fraud before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that between 2011 and 2017, Katam ran businesses in which he falsified immigration documents for Indian nationals to enter the U.S. and work in tech industries involving computer programming. The defendant manipulated the H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers temporarily to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Katam falsified visa applications, work experience documents, and work contracts, which he then submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security and Department of State, in order to secure illegal H-1B visas for Indian nationals. This resulted in the unlawful entry and employment of several Indian nationals within the United States.

As part of the investigation, federal agents identified multiple assets, including strip malls, and bank accounts, which were acquired by Katam utilizing proceeds of the visa fraud. The defendant will forfeit approximately $1,090,490.32 to the Government.       

The plea is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Region, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, under the direction of the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office, Charles Brandeis.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 6, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. before Chief Judge Geraci.

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