Seven arrested in immigration racket run by Indian American (Lead)

June 17th, 2008 - 7:36 am ICT by IANS  

By Parveen Chopra
New York, June 16 (IANS) Seven people, including an Indian American running an IT company in the US, have been arrested for allegedly running an immigration racket that promised work visas and green cards to aspirants who were offered fake jobs in his firm. New Jersey-based Nilesh Dasondi has been charged with using his CyGate Software and Consulting company that would petition for H1B visas and green cards on behalf of people for a fat fee.

A member of the Edison town’s zoning board, Dasondi, 41, is a naturalised US citizen who made an unsuccessful bid in last year’s Edison council Democratic primary.

According to papers filed by Assistant US Attorney Burt Ryan, at least six Indian beneficiaries reportedly paid him large sums for their immigration to the US. Three of them were arrested from Long Island in New York and one each from New Jersey, Chicago and Arizona last week.

Newsday reported that the three Long Islanders — Kishor Parikh, 42, Devang Patel, 31, and Chetan Trivedi, 40 — made monthly payments totalling between $70,000 and $100,000 to Dasondi between 2004 and 2007 in return for false pay stubs, pay checks and health insurance payments submitted to the government as “proof” of their employment as computer experts.

Cygate used some of that money to pay state and federal taxes owed on supposed pay.

The three Long Islanders had no technical skills, and Parikh and Patel ran greeting cards and gift items stores, the paper said.

Cygate’s own website says: “We are always on a lookout for talented individuals to fill our numerous open positions.” It then provides a link to the current positions at the company available within the US, a long list running to over two scores in a wide variety of IT jobs.

According to reports, Dasondi posted $800,000 bail Thursday and was released but must remain under home confinement with electronic monitoring.

Three bank accounts of Cygate and a fourth account in the name of another company Dasondi controlled were seized, authorities said.

Trivedi’s attorney, Paul Rethier, said his client was “an upstanding gentlemen” but added that he wasn’t familiar with the details of the case yet.

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