USCIS Efforts Lead to Prison Sentence for Fremont Business Owner

Legal Analysis

Kondamoori, 56, of Incline Village, Nev., and Sandhya Ramireddi, 58, of Pleasanton, in a 33-count indictment filed May 5, 2016.  The indictment contains charges in connection with the submission of fraudulent applications for H-1B specialty-occupation work visas.

“USCIS is committed to combatting instances of fraud, abuse and other nefarious activities threatening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” stated USCIS San Francisco District Director John Kramer. “This sentencing sends a strong message to anyone thinking about circumventing or violating our rule of law.”

Venkat Guntipally pleaded guilty on April 24, 2017, at which time he admitted that he and his wife founded and owned DS Soft Tech and Equinett, two employment-staffing companies for technology firms. In addition, Guntipally admitted that between approximately 2010 and 2014, he and his wife, together with others, submitted to the government more than one hundred fraudulent petitions for foreign workers to be placed at other purported companies.  The end-client companies listed in the fraudulent H-1B applications either did not exist or never received the proposed H-1B workers.  None of the listed companies ever intended to receive those H-1B workers.  The scheme’s intended purpose was to create a pool of H-1B workers who then could be placed at legitimate employment positions in the Northern District of California and elsewhere.  Through this scheme, Venkat Guntipally, along with his co-conspirators, gained an unfair advantage over competing employment-staffing firms, and the Guntipally’s earned millions in ill-gotten gains.  Venkat Guntipally also admitted that he and his codefendants obstructed justice, including by directing workers to lie to investigators and by laundering money. 

Venkat Guntipally was charged with one count of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; ten counts of substantive visa fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a); seven counts of using false documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3); and four counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341.  He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and the remaining charges were dismissed. 

In addition to the prison term, the Judge ordered Venkat Guntipally to serve three years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $500,000. Venkat Guntipally was ordered to self-surrender on or before June 14, 2019.   

All three of Venkat Guntipally’s co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the scheme. Last year, Sunitha Guntipally was sentenced to 52 months in prison, Ramireddi to 14 months’ imprisonment, and Kondamoori to 20 months’ imprisonment for their respective conduct. 

The prosecution is a result of collaboration between USCIS’s Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service and Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas Lerman with the assistance of Laurie Worthen.

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USCIS Continuing Form I-751 Data Entry

USCIS has completed receipting and data entry for all filings of Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, received between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018. Petitioners should receive receipt notices by Oct. 22, 2018.

On June 13, 2018, USCIS announced that the California Service Center (CSC) was experiencing a delay in initial data entry for Form I-751. After changing the filing location for Form I-751 from the USCIS Service Centers to the USCIS Lockbox facilities in September, USCIS completed receipting and data entry of these petitions on Oct. 1.

If you submitted a Form I-751 to the CSC between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018, and you have not received a receipt notice, do not file a duplicate Form I-751 unless you have received a rejection notice or have been instructed to do so by the CSC.

If your two-year green card has expired and you have not received a receipt notice, you may schedule an appointment online for you and any eligible dependents to be seen at your local field office. If possible, bring evidence that you sent your Form I-751 via the U.S. Postal Service or a delivery service, such as FedEx. If you have any questions about the process, visit the USCIS Contact Center page.