Indian origin man arrested for $21 million H-1B visa fraud conspiracy



An Indian was arrested in the United States on August 20 in connection with a $21 million H-1B visa fraud. Ashish Sawhney, 48, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.

In a press statement, the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Virginia, said that Sawhney allegedly used four companies to carry out the H-1B skilled worker visa fraud, namely, Value Consulting LLC, Value Software Products Inc, Business Pointers Inc, and E-Train ERP Inc.

The court documents alleged that Sawhney filed fraudulent H-1B applications, claiming that the foreign workers named would fulfill specific jobs, where no such jobs existed at the time of filing. Through the visa fraud, his companies made profits to the tune of $21 million between 2011 and 2016, the statement said.

Additionally, Sawhney, who is an Indian national, also allegedly attempted to naturalize as a US citizen by submitting an application containing false statements.

If convicted, Sawhney faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being investigated by the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, which is comprised of multiple agencies including the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), US Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Office of Fraud Detection and National Security that coordinate investigations into fraudulent immigration documents.