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orporate President of Kronsys, Inc., Cygtec, Inc., and Arkstek, Inc. Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Visa Fraud


Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Corporate President of Kronsys, Inc., Cygtec, Inc., and Arkstek, Inc. Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Visa Fraud

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announces that sairam yeruva, age 45, a resident of Cary, North Carolina, and a naturalized United States citizen from India, was sentenced today in federal court to 12 months and 1 day imprisonment, along with 1 year supervised release and a $50,000 fine. 
On January 7, 2019, YERUVA pled guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud as charged in a Criminal Information.  As part of the plea, YERUVA agreed to forfeit $2,600,000 of the criminal proceeds to the U.S. government.
The Criminal Information alleges that YERUVA, and others, conspired to submit false and misleading information to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in support of at least one hundred eighty-three (183) initial H-1B petitions and at least one-hundred (100) H-1B extension petitions that were filed on behalf of KRONSYS, INC., CYGTEC, INC., and ARKSTEK, INC.  During the course of the conspiracy, YERUVA served as the corporate president of each of these three companies.
According to the charging document, YERUVA, and others, declared in their initial petitions that their H-1B nonimmigrant foreign workers would be employed by the companies at specific work locations in or near Raleigh, North Carolina or Aurora, Colorado for the sole purpose of developing internal, or “in-house”, information technology projects.  The petitions also declared that the H-1B workers would be paid the prevailing wage throughout the entirety of their H-1B status with the companies.        
Rather than developing the “in-house” projects, the H-1B workers provided IT consulting services to end clients throughout the United States, thereby earning KRONSYS, INC., CYGTEC, INC., and ARKSTEK, INC. at least $26,225,000.  Many of the H-1B workers were “benched” while they waited for their initial end client assignment to begin or while they were in between end client assignments.  “Benching” refers to the practice of placing H-1B foreign workers in nonproductive status without pay while they search for new end client assignments. 
“The fraud and misuse of visa programs such as the H-1B program subverts the legitimate immigration process, and denies qualified and capable United States citizens and those legally in the United States from obtaining positions requiring specialized skills.  I am committed to holding those that seek to circumvent the process accountable,” said United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr.
“Each year, thousands of nonimmigrants with specialized skills try to obtain H-1B visas,” said Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Charlotte.  “When criminals exploit the U.S. visa system for personal gain, no one wins. Workers are sidelined without pay, and legitimate U.S. businesses lose the opportunity to hire needed employees.”
The H-1B program is intended to assist employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the United States workforce. The H-1B program authorizes these employers to temporarily employ foreign workers as nonimmigrants in specialty occupations. Speculative employment is not permitted under the H-1B program, as the program is not intended as a vehicle for foreign workers to engage in a job search, or for employers to bring in foreign workers to meet possible workforce needs.      
A Criminal Information is a formal written accusation filed by the United States Attorney.  YERUVA faces maximum penalties of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
The Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) is investigating the case.  Homeland Security Investigations led the investigation with the assistance of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Topic(s): 
Immigration
Updated February 19, 2020

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