- They allegedly submitted approximately 85 fraudulent H-1B applications and laundered $1 million in fraud proceeds.
Two Indian Americans — Namrata Patnaik and Kartiki Parekh — have been charged with visa fraud and conspiracy to commit visa fraud for obtaining “specialty occupation” visas. Patnaik has additionally been charged with money laundering. The 42-year-old resident of Saratoga, California, was the CEO of PerfectVIPs, a computer chip design product and services company, headquartered in San Jose, and incorporated in 2010. Parekh, 56, of Santa Clara, acted as the company’s human resources manager, according to a Department of Justice press release.
The indictment charges that from 2011 through April 2017 Patnaik and Parekh submitted 85 fraudulent H-1B visa applications for foreign workers sponsored by PerfectVIPs and that Patnaik later laundered the $1 million proceeds of the visa fraud. Each application contained representations under penalty of perjury.
During the process, Patnaik and Parekh allegedly submitted or caused to be submitted statements that the foreign workers would be employed by PerfectVIPs to work on their in-house contracts and projects at the company’s office locations. Once the applications were approved, Patnaik and Parekh instead created a pool of H-1B workers that were placed at employment positions with other employers, not with PerfectVIPs, the indictment says. This practice provided the company an unfair and illegal advantage over employment-staffing firms. During the period of Patnaik’s and Parekh’s conspiracy, the indictment alleges, the other employers paid fees of nearly $7 million to PerfectVIPs to cover the cost of the H-1B workers’ wages and salaries as well as a profit markup for the company.
Patnaik and Parekh made their initial appearances in San Jose federal court today before United States Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins. Both defendants were ordered to appear in United States District Court in San Jose on April 12 before United States District Judge Beth L. Freeman.