Bay Area Indian News Corner


February 21, 2020 - A former technology company employee and San Francisco, CA Indian Kush Ghanshyam Patel (28) is indicted today by a federal grand jury in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud his former employer of more than $350,000.

According to the indictment filed on January 9, 2020:...............Read More

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February 6, 2020 - Sacramento, CA based Assisted Living company owner Jai Vijay (54) pleaded guilty today to conspiring with home health care and hospice agencies to receive kickbacks in Medicare fraud scheme...............Read More

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January 6, 2020 - Encino, CA Indian Doctor Kain Kumar (56) was sentenced today to two years in prison for defrauding Medicare and illegally prescribing opioid drugs.

With medical clinics in Palmdale, Rosamond, and Ridgecrest, CA Dr. Kain Kumar practiced internal medicine.

Guilty Plea
Encino, CA Indian Dr. Kain Kumar pleaded guilty April, 2019 to one count of health care fraud and one count of distribution of hydrocodone..............Read More

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December 18, 2019 - Tracy, CA Indian IT Staffing Company operator Abhijit Prasad (52) was sentenced to 36-months in prison for H-1B visa fraud and aggravated identity theft today by U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of California.

Abhijit Prasad was indicted by a grand jury on December 23, 2016 and subsequently convicted of 19 counts of H-1B visa fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft today by a federal grand jury on August 5, 2019.............Read More

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December 17, 2019 - Janardhan Nellore (42) of Santa Clara and Sivannarayana Barama (45) of Fremont, CA were indicted for securities fraud related to Palo Alto Networks Inc. today by a federal grand jury in San Francisco.

Janardhan Nellore, an employee of Palo Alto Networks' information technology department, participated in insider trading scheme by trading and sharing confidential information about his employer's financial performance with Sivannarayana Barama and others.

The insider trading scheme of Nellore and Barama related to Palo Alto Networks Inc.(PANW) securities fraud allegedly generated in excess of $7 Million in illegal profits............Read More

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November 13, 2019 - San Diego Indian Couple Nimesh Shah (36), owner of Blue Star Learning Technical Training School, and his wife Nidhi Shah (34) pleaded guilty today to defrauding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) out of more than $29 million in Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits and making false statements respectively.

While Nimesh Shah, owner of San Diego based Blue Star Learning Technical Training School has been charged with one count of wire fraud, his wife Nidhi Shah was indicted on one count of making false statements...........Read More

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October 21, 2019 - Bay Area Indian Doctor Venkat Aachi (52) was sentenced today to two years in prison for unlawfully distributing Hydrocodone and committing health care fraud.

Dr. Venkat Aachi was indicted by a federal grand jury in October, 2018 and charged him with six counts of distributing drugs outside the scope of professional practice, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), and one count of health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347.

Saratoga, CA resident Dr Venkat Aachi pleaded guilty March 25, 2019 to one count under each statute...........Read More

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October 11, 2019 - Los Angeles based Indian broker Damanpreet Singh (34) was sentenced today in Sacramento to nine additional months in prison for failing to self-surrender to serve his original prison sentence.

Damanpreet Singh was originally sentenced to two years in prison on September 14, 2018 and was ordered to self-surrender to begin serving his prison time on January 4, 2019.

Instead of self-surrendering as per the court order,..........Read More

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September 05, 2019 - Multiple Federal complaints have been filed by U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California today charging three Bay Area Indians and 27 others with multi-million dollar scheme to receive referrals for Medicare patients.

The 30 people charged with Medicare kickback scheme include CEO of Amity Home Health, 13 Doctors, six Nurse/Case Managers, five Marketers, one Marketing Director and one Social Worker..........Read More

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August 23, 2019 - Glendale, CA Indian Software Engineering and IT Consulting Company Assigncorp has paid $48,193 to one employee.........Read More

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August 05, 2019 - Tracy, CA Indian IT Staffing Company operator Abhijit Prasad (52) was convicted of 21 counts of H-1B visa fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft today by a federal grand jury.

According to the evidence presented at the trial in San Francisco........Read More

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July 2, 2019 - Four executives of New Jersey based Indian IT staffing and consultancy companies, Procure Professionals and Krypto IT Soultions, have been arrested in June 2019 on charges of fraudulently using the H-1B visa program to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

The four Indian IT staffing company executives are:
According to the court documents and statements:
Mane, Mannam, and Vemuri controlled two IT staffing companies located in Middlesex County, New Jersey – Procure Professionals Inc. and Krypto IT Solutions Inc. Silva and Mannam also controlled another New Jersey staffing company, referred to in the complaint as “Client A.” The defendants used Procure and Krypto to recruit foreign nationals and sponsor them for H-1B visas, which allow recipients to live and work temporarily in the U.S. in positions requiring specialized skills. To expedite their visa applications, the defendants caused Procure and Krypto to file H-1B applications falsely asserting that the foreign worker/beneficiaries had already secured positions at Client A, when, in reality, no such positions existed. Instead, the defendants used these fraudulent applications to build a “bench” of job candidates already admitted to the United States, who could then be hired out immediately to client companies without the need to wait through the visa application process, giving the defendants an advantage over their competitors in the staffing industry.
Court Appearance
Sateesh Vemuri made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark, NJ federal court on July 1, 2019.

And, Venkataramana Mannam, Fernando Silva and Vijay Mane appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark, NJ federal court on June 25, 2019 and June 27, 2019 respectively.

All four executives of Procure Professionals and Krypto IT Soultions were released on $250,000 bond.

Potential Penalty
On the conspiracy to commit H-1B Visa fraud charge, Venkataramana Mannam, Vijay Mane, Fernando Silva and Sateesh Vemuri face a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. In addition to the prison time, the H1-B visa fraud charge carries a fine of $250,000.

Venkataramana Mannam, Vijay Mane, Fernando Silva and Sateesh Vemuri must be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

H1-B Visa Fraud Court Documents
Sateesh Vemuri, Venkataramana Mannam, Vijay Mane and Fernando Silva H1-B Visa Fraud Complaint
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May 31, 2019 - Bay Area Indian-American Rishik Gandhasri of San Jose made history by jointly winning the 2019 Spelling Championship along with seven other contestants.
Rishik Gandhasri - 2019 National Spelling Bee Champion 2019 Spelling Bee
Champion
The other 2019 Spelling Bee champions are Saketh Sundar of MD, Sohum Sukhatankar, Abhijay Kodali and Rohan Raja of TX, Shruthika Padhy and Christopher Serrao of NJ and Erin Howard of AL.

This is the first time in the history of Natipnal Scripps Spelling Bee that eight youngsters have jointly won the championship.
2019 National Spelling Bee Champions 2019 National Spelling Bee Champions
The Octo-champs & Winning Words
1) Rishik Gandhasri (13) was the first champion. Auslaut was the winning word of this seventh grader from Chaboya Middle School in San Jose, CA
2) The winning word of second champion Erin Howard (14) of Huntsville, AL was Erysipelas. Erin Howard is an eighth grader from Mountain Gap P-8 School.
3) Saketh Sundar, (13) was the third champion. The winning word of this eighth grader from Clarksville Middle School, MD is Bougainvillea.
4) Cherry Hill, New Jersey Indian kid Shruthika Padhy (13) was the fourth one to join the 2019 Spelling Bee Octo-champs. Aiguillette was the winning word of this eighth grade student from Rosa International Middle School.
5) Sohum Sukhatankar (13), of Dallas, TX spelled Pendeloque correctly to become the fifth champion. Sohum is a seventh grader from St. Mark's School of Texas.
6) Abhijay Kodali (12) who finished third last year spelled Palama correctly to become the sixth champion. Abhijay is a sixth grader from McKamy Middle School in Flower Mound, TX.
7) Whitehouse Station, NJ seventh grader Christopher Serrao (13) spelled Cernuous correctly to join the 2019 Spelling Bee Octo-champs.
8) Rohan Raja (13), of Irving, TX spelled Odylic correctly to become the eighth champion. Rohan is a seventh grader from Coppell Middle School West.
And, this is the fifteenth year in a row that Indian-Americans are taking the Spelling Bee cup home.

Other Indian-American Spelling Champs
Indian-Americans have been basically competing against each other in recent years.

Here’s a list of Indian-American Spelling Bee champions since 2000:

2018 - Karthik Nemmani
2017 - Ananya Vinay
2016 - Jairam Hathwar & Nihar Janga
2015 - Gokul Venkatachalam & Vanya Shivashankar
2014 – Ansun Sujoe & Sriram Hathwar
2013 – Arvind Mahankali
2012 – Snigdha Nandipati
2011 – Sukanya Roy
2010 – Anamika Veeramani
2009 – Kavya Shivashankar
2008 – Sameer Mishra
2005 – Anurag Kashyap
2003 – Sai R.Gunturi
2002 – Pratyush Buddiga
2000 – George Abraham Thampy
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April 11, 2019 - Deepak Deshpande (41), Dublin, CA resident was sentenced today to life in federal prison for enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct.

And, in addition to life in prison, Deepak Deshpande was also sentenced to 30 years in prison for production of child pornography by Florida U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza.

According to the court documents:
..in July 2017, Deshpande contacted a minor in Orlando through an online chat application. At that time, Deshpande posed as a modeling agent and persuaded the minor to send him nude images of herself. In the months that followed, Deshpande contacted the same minor, posing as two other individuals, and threatened to disseminate her nude images if she did not continue producing additional child pornography for him.

In September 2017, Deshpande traveled to Orlando from California to meet the minor in person for the first time. He brought her to a local hotel, and filmed himself sexually assaulting the victim multiple times. Between September 2017 and April 2018, he repeated this same conduct during four additional visits to Orlando.

In early May 2018, following an anonymous tip, the FBI began investigating Deshpande. An undercover FBI agent then began posing as the minor in communications with Deshpande. On May 12, 2018, as a result of the undercover investigation, Deshpande returned to Orlando and was arrested upon his arrival at the Orlando International Airport.

Following his arrest, Deshpande plotted to kidnap and murder the minor victim in advance of his trial. Deshpande recruited a fellow inmate, whom he believed would soon be released, to serve as a middleman. Deshpande gave the inmate names and contact information for individuals who might be willing to carry out the abduction and murder, and furnished personal details concerning the victim and her family, including her residence and schedule. Upon learning of the plot, the FBI conducted an undercover investigation and Deshpande’s efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.

Deepak Deshpande had pleaded guilty on October 29, 2018.

The case against Deepak Deshpande was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under Project Safe Childhood.

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March 28, 2019 - Indian IT Consultants Kishore Dattapuram, Santa Clara and Santosh Giri, San Jose, CA and Kumar Aswapathi, Austin, TX are charged with H1-B visa fraud today by a federal grand jury.

The eleven-count indictment alleges that Kishore Dattapuram, Santosh Giri and Kumar Aswapathi submitted fraudulent applications for high-tech worker visas through their staffing company.

According to the criminal indictment:
..Dattapuram, 49, of Santa Clara, Aswapathi, 49, of Austin, Texas, and Giri, 42, of San Jose, operated Nanosemantics, Inc., a Santa Clara-based consulting firm whose services included placing skilled foreign workers at software and technology companies in the Bay Area. According to the indictment, the defendants worked together to submit fraudulent H-1B visa applications on behalf of foreign workers in order to gain a competitive advantage over competing firms.

The H-1B visa program allows foreign workers to obtain temporary authorization to live and work for employers in the United States. In order to secure an H-1B visa, an employer or other sponsor must submit an “I-129” petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. A petition and associated documentation must confirm the existence and duration of the job waiting for the worker, and describe key details including the wages associated with the position.

In this case, the defendants allegedly used Nanosemantics to submit fraudulent I-129 petitions and obtain H-1B visas for workers that the defendants could later place at local companies. By maintaining a group of available workers, the defendants would gain a competitive advantage over consultants that properly applied for paperwork only after matching a qualified worker to and available job. According to the indictment, several of the I-129 petitions submitted by defendants stated that particular workers had specific jobs waiting for them at designated companies when, in reality, the defendants knew that these jobs did not exist. Further, the defendants allegedly sought the cooperation of third parties to conceal their fraud. For example, defendants allegedly orchestrated payments by Nanosemantics to at least one individual for permission to list his company as the employer for foreign workers even though Nanosemantics actually intended to place the workers elsewhere. Further, defendants allegedly coached foreign workers and others, to respond to government inquiries in a way that would prevent the government from discovering the fraud.
Charges and Potential Penalty
Kishore Dattapuram, Santosh Giri and Kumar Aswapathi were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and ten counts of substantive visa fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a).

The three Indian IT Consultants were arrested on March 27, 2019 and were released on bonds after entering a plea of not guilty.

On visa fraud count, Kishore Dattapuram, Santosh Giri and Kumar Aswapathi face a maximum sentence of ten years, and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a) (visa fraud).

The conspiracy count carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate.

Indian IT Consultants Kishore Dattapuram, Santosh Giri and Kumar Aswapathi must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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March 25, 2019 - Bay area Indian doctor Venkat Aachi (52), pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose for prescribing Hydrocodone without a legitimate medical need and committing health care fraud.

Dr. Venkat Aachi was indicted by a federal grand jury in October, 2018 and charged him with six counts of distributing drugs outside the scope of professional practice, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), and one count of health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347.

According to the plea agreement:
Aachi, 52, of Saratoga, was a licensed physician in the state of California who operated a pain clinic in San Jose. He maintained a DEA registration number authorizing him to prescribe controlled substances. Aachi admitted that from September 18, 2017, through July 2, 2018, he wrote hydrocodone-acetaminophen prescriptions that were outside the scope of his professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The plea agreement describes transactions in which Aachi improperly distributed hydrocodone. For example, in November of 2017, he wrote a prescription enabling a patient to receive 90 hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills. Aachi did not conduct a physical examination of the patient nor discuss the patient’s pain or response to prior medication. Aachi acknowledged that he knew the prescriptions were not for a legitimate medical purpose and that he did not write the prescriptions in the usual course of his professional practice.
Besides pleading guilty to illegal distribution of Hydrocodone, Dr. Aachi admitted to submitting fraudulent insurance claims for payment for healthcare benefits, items, and services.

Potential Penalty
For the illegal distribution of hydrocodone, Dr. Venkat Aachi faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.

The health care fraud count carries a 10 years prison time and $250,000 fine.

Dr. Venkat Aachi is currently free on bail and his sentencing is scheduled for July 1, 2019.

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March 14, 2019 - Sacramento, CA area Indian couple Satish Kartan (45) and Sharmistha Barai (40) are found guilty of human trafficking related to forced labor of foreign nationals today by a federal grand jury.

Besides conspiracy to obtain forced labor and two counts of obtaining forced labor, Satish Kartan was found guilty of fraud in foreign labor contracting.

According to the court documents:
...between February 2014 and October 2016, Kartan and Barai hired workers from overseas to perform domestic labor in their home in Stockton. In advertisements seeking workers on the internet and India-based newspapers, the defendants made false claims regarding the wages and the duties of employment. Then, once the workers arrived at the defendants’ Stockton residence, Kartan and Barai forced them to work 18 hours a day with limited rest and nourishment. Few of them were paid any wage. The defendants kept their domestic workers from leaving and induced them to keep working for them by threatening them, by creating an atmosphere of fear, control, and disempowerment, and at times by physically hitting or burning them. When a victim pushed back or said she wanted to leave, it got worse.

Victims flew from India and Nepal to testify. According to evidence presented at trial, the defendants struck one worker on multiple occasions. Barai threatened to kill her and throw her bones in the garbage, backhanded her across the face for talking back, and slammed her hands down on a gas stove, causing her to suffer first and second degree burns on her hands from the flames. The defendants also threatened several other victims to coerce them to keep working, including by telling the victims they would report them to police or immigration authorities if they tried to leave. Throughout the victims’ time in the defendants’ home, they were deprived of sleep and food. The defendants subjected the victims to verbal abuse and harassment in an effort to intimidate them into continuing to provide labor and services.
Penalty for Human Trafficking
Satish and Sharmistha face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of conspiracy to obtain forced labor and two counts of obtaining forced labor.

The sentencing of Indian couple Satish Kartan and Sharmistha Barai is scheduled for June 6, 2019.
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California Desis Illegals to get Driver's License
January 2, 2015 - Indian illegal immigrants in California must be celebrating today.

After all, starting today the state's desi illegal immigrants can apply for a Driver's License. Surviving without a Driver's License in California is hard since public transportation in the state is limited.

Besides letting California illegal desis drive legally, the Driver's License will also serve as an Identity Card to access state and federal services, open bank accounts and gain entry into airports, courts and most federal buildings.

Because of opposition from anti-immigrant foes, most states prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing a Driver's License to illegal immigrants.

Unfortunately, major Indian immigrant hubs like New Jersey and New York still do not issue Driver's License to illegal immigrants. Since the number of Indian illegal immigrants in New Jersey and New York has been increasing in recent years, we assume that a lot of NY and NJ desis are driving without a U.S. Driver's License.

Thank God, California now offers a Driver's License to illegal immigrants too.

10 States where Indian Illegal Immigrants can get a Driver's License

1. California (effective January 2, 2015)
2. Maryland (effective January 1, 2014)
3. Connecticut (effective January 1, 2015)
4. Vermont (effective January 1, 2014)
5. Illinois (effective November 28, 2013)
6. Nevada (effective January 1, 2014)
7. Washington (effective July 25, 1993)
8. Utah (effective March 8, 2005)
9. New Mexico (effective 2003)
10. Colorado (effective January 1, 2014)
and the jurisdiction of
11. Washington D.C. (effective May 1, 2014)

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