Earlier, we published the 27-page federal indictment against the owner of EcomNets and other of his business associates. Now let’s take a comprehensive look at what it means.
We call this a BreakDown.
Let’s pull out a Big Board and start going over this indictment.
- First, this indictment doesn’t have much to do with EcomNets’ operations (or lack of operations) at their Danville location. These guns are aimed at the higher-ups of the company, including Raj Kosuri and his wife Smriti Jharia.
- There are six people named as defendants in this indictment. You’ve got Raj Kosuri and his wife. You’ve also got his wife’s brother, Vikant Jharia. There’s also three other people and we’ll get to them later.
- Raj Kosuri was a legal permanent resident (not a US Citizen) and his wife was a naturalized US citizen.
- Companies can apply for a H-1B visa and hire a foreign national temporarily if the person had a highly-technical skill. The visa was good for 3 years (and could be extended) or whenever the person’s employment ended. The employee then had to return to their own country.
- Raj Kosuri started EcomNets around 2000 and formed other “computer” companies up until 2008.
- Part of the indictment alleges that Kosuri, his wife, her brother and two other people made false statements to get people the HB-1 visas and illegally collected money from those people. If a company wants to get a HB-1 visa, they have to pay for everything and they can’t get any money from the prospective employee.
- The indictment also alleges that Kosuri and those other four people made up fake names and other things needed to get HB-1 visas. It also alleges that the money Kosuri and the others got illegally from this scam was sent to bank accounts in India.
- If you go to the 8th page of the indictment (under #21), you can see some of the hijinks alleged to have happened. My favorite was an email from one of the people indicted asking Kosuri to forge the fake name “Sam Bose” on a document. Sam Bose? Sambo’s? Really?
- Vikrant Jahria, the brother of Kosuri’s wife, is charged for falsifying his own HB-1 visa application. Sheesh
- The other big part of this indictment alleges that Kosuri’s wife opened up “EcomNets Federal Solutions” here in Danville and had an office in the First Citizens Bank building downtown. She even certified that she was the president of the company and that her husband had nothing to do with it. The office remained empty.
- Even though Kosuri’s wife certified that her husband had nothing to do with this “company”, they opened bank accounts for the “company” and both of them were signatories on the accounts. Whoops!
- Locating this fake company in Danville made them eligible for federal HUBZone status, which gives a company extra benefits on getting government contracts and also to get Small Business Administration-guaranteed loans. Well, surprise, the “company” got a $150,000 SBA-backed loan! That money quickly got transferred into the main EcomNets bank accounts. Whoops again!
- The last part of the federal indictment is the proposed Forfeiture Notice. If Kojuri and the other are convicted on some specific charges in the indictment, they will have to forfeit all proceeds gained illegally. There’s a crapload of bank accounts listed, as well as the EcomNets corporate offices located in a northern Virginia business park.
- There’s a Danville connection as well to the forfeiture order. Ecomnets bought the vacant lot beside their building in the Airside Industrial Park. According to city records, they bought the approximately 13 acre area for $10 for Danville’s Industrial Development Authority. That doesn’t sound right, and I’m looking into that. Anyway, that vacant lot would be a company asset that would be forfeited to the federal government if convictions happen.
- Oh yeah, Raj Kosuri can also lose his 2010 Mercedes S400 sedan.
This is my interpretation of the major parts of the indictment. Everything in this article are just allegations until proven in a court of law (or a guilty plea happens). I’m not a lawyer and nothing I have written here is legal advice nor legal interpretation. Your mileage may vary. Offer not valid in Tennessee. 0.9% financing only available to highly qualified customers. All of these stupid legal disclaimers.
That being said, I’m telling you what I’ve seen in this. I’ve given you a comprehensive rundown of what it is that large federal indictment.
I’ve given you a BreakDown. Let’s see how long before the Register & Bee jumps on this story now that I’ve written about it. Heh.